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NIPR newsletter, September 1998

1 - "Knowledge for Development", 1998/99 World Development Report now
2 - "Accounting for Toxicity Risks in Pollution Control: Does it Matter?"
research paper
3 - "Taxing Bads by Taxing Goods: Pollution Control with Presumptive
Charges" book
4 - Upcoming Bank conference on public-private sector collaboration for
cost-effective pollution management
5 - New Links for OnTheNet page
6 - A new look for NIPR and the World Bank websites

Dear Friends:

We are pleased to continue to be able to provide you with research from the
New Ideas in Pollution Regulation (http://www.worldbank.org/NIPR) team,
which we hope you will find helpful to your own research initiatives on
pollution regulation and control issues.

1 - "Knowledge for Development", 1998/99 World Development Report now

The Knowledge for Development Report examines the role of knowledge in
advancing economic and social well being.
Because knowledge matters, understanding how people and societies acquire
and use knowledge, and why they sometimes
fail to do so, is essential to improving people's lives, especially the
lives of the poorest among us.  This year's report suggests
that developing countries should institute policies that will enable them
to narrow the knowledge gaps that separate poor
countries from rich countries.  The report also suggests developing country
governments, multilateral institutions,
non-governmental organizations and the private sector should work together
to strengthen the institutions needed to address
information problems.  NIPR has linked to the general report and the
chapter on environment.


2 - "Accounting for Toxicity Risks in Pollution Control: Does it Matter?"
research paper

In their paper, "Accounting for Toxicity Risks in Pollution Control: Does
it Matter?", authors Susmita Dasgupta, Benoit Laplante and Craig Meisner
explore whether ranking toxic pollution emissions without accounting for
the toxicity risks of different pollutants may lead to flawed priorities
and misallocation of resources by environmental regulators.  In an attempt
to account for the relative differences in chemical toxicty, a number of
organizations have developed thresholds or exposure limits to account for
toxicity risk.  The authors reviewed risk methodologies currently
available, and then applied them to almost 3,500 industrialized municipals
in Brazil.  These findings suggest that it is of importance for
environmental regulators to engage into weighting pollutants for their
relative toxicity risk when prioritizing pollution control effort either at
the industrial or regional level. The findings however suggest that at high
levels of aggregation, the choice of a particular indicator should not be a
matter of immense debate.


3 - "Taxing Bads by Taxing Goods: Pollution Control with Presumptive
Charges" book

Bank researchers Gunnar Eskeland and Shantayanan Devarajan, in their book
"Taxing Bads by Taxing Goods: Pollution Control with Presumptive Charges",
explore whether presumptive charges can be important complementary measures
in a cost-effective pollution control program.  Presumptive charges are
indirect taxes levied on polluting inputs and outputs, designed to reduce
the scale in polluting activities. Since they tax activities associated
with emissions rather than emissions themselves, they can typically be
combined with other instruments that make the activity cleaner per unit of
output, such emission standards.  Their analysis concludes one can tax a
bad - such as pollution - by taxing a good or product - such as fuel - when
the monitoring of emissions is prohibitively expensive.  To illustrate
their argument, the researchers use taxation of fuel use, and other
examples of effective indirect instruments.


4 - Upcoming Bank conference on public-private sector collaboration for
cost-effective pollution management

Coming October 26th, the World Bank's Economic Development Institute will
host a worldwide policy dialogue between
the public and private sectors on "Collaborating for Cost-Effective
Pollution Management" in Washington, D.C.  Over the last
decade, environmental regulators and policymakers have increasingly
discovered that working with the industry representatives
can be a more cost-effective alternative to pollution control than
traditional monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.  Industry has
also learned that collaborative approaches with regulators can reduce their
production costs, and both improved the quality of
their product and their image to consumers.  This dialogue will bring
together government and private sector representatives
to highlight successful approaches and lessons for managing pollution.


5 - New Links for OnTheNet page

We have added a number of new links to our OnTheNet page.  Included in the
new additions is the Economic Performance and Environmental Quality site
which has economic data matched with environmental quality indicators and
examples of how economic instruments are being used to improve the
environment.  The U.S. EPA's Office of Research and Development is involved
in risk assessment and management to remediate environmental and human
health problems.  Their site has a section on grant and fellowship
opportunities for research initiatives.   The Air and Waste Management
Association provides information and networking opportunities for
environmental professionals in sixty-five countries.  Also of note is the
Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute site which provides
information on technologies, management practices, grants and publications
to educate the public and encourage reduction of toxic chemical use and


6 - A new look for NIPR and the World Bank websites

In honor of the World Bank/IMF annual meetings, the Bank has remodeled and
improved its website.  To keep up with these changes, we have remodeled the
NIPR site so it is consistent with the rest of the Bank's site.  Other
features on the Bank's site worth investigating include:

A new section on the Bank's response to the most vulnerable populations
impacted by the Asian financial crisis

Poverty Net, a new resource for people working on poverty-related issues

revised and expanded resources for international development data

revised and expanded resources for research

revised and expanded resources for prospects

and a vastly improved search engine

We continue to receive suggestions and comments from our readers, and
always they are appreciated.  We hope you will continue to let us know
interesting ideas, trends and other bits of information, and will provide
us feedback on new papers, datasets and informational kiosks which we
present.  If you wish to no longer receive our monthly mailings, please let
us know
by writing David Shaman at dshaman@worldbank.org.  Best wishes.