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Calls for Papers: Measuring Impacts and Financing Infrastructure in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Countries

Measuring Impacts and Financing Infrastructure in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Countries
Asian Development Bank, ADB Institute, and CAREC Institute
Beijing, People’s Republic of China
22 June 2018

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), ADB Institute (ADBI), and CAREC Institute are organizing a 1-day workshop in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, 22 June 2018, and a final conference to present papers in mid-November.

The infrastructure investment gap for Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) developing countries exceeds 5% of their projected GDP for the 5-year period from 2016 to 2020. Bridging that gap is a formidable challenge in terms of finding both viable projects and sustainable financing options. More than 60% of this investment deficit needs to be financed through private sector participation or other non-public financing options.

In 2010, CAREC member countries adopted the long-term strategic framework CAREC 2020 and introduced the concept of economic corridor development (ECD). ECD focuses not only on physical creation of infrastructure, but also on estimating its actual impact on productivity, economic growth, and employment. Given the limited availability of private funds and underdevelopment of capital markets in majority of the CAREC countries, evaluating the effectiveness of the projects in terms of fiscal revenue is vital for sustainable development of the region.

To address these questions, ADBI and CAREC Institute will launch a new research project, “Measuring Impacts and Financing Infrastructure in CAREC Countries”. Its main objective is to assess the capacity of CAREC member countries to finance infrastructure using existing public and private funds. It aims to identify barriers which may limit infrastructure, and investigate new avenues for closing the infrastructure investment gap, including public-private partnerships (PPPs), infrastructure bonds, and land-value capture schemes.

ADBI and the CAREC Institute invite research paper proposals on Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The paper proposals should fall into either category I or II.

Papers in category I should accomplish one or more of the following points:

  1. Provide detailed analysis of incentives and disincentives faced by the private sector in infrastructure financing.
  2. Analyze the state of PPPs in infrastructure provision, including the challenges and opportunities for PPPs in CAREC countries;
  3. Analyze partnerships among national planning agencies and multilateral development organizations for developing regional frameworks for harmonizing regulatory and institutional regimes to make infrastructure more attractive to private investors, generate a pipeline of bankable projects for PPPs, and design prudent risk management systems.
  4. Based on 1–3 above, provide policy recommendations for promoting innovative financing methods for infrastructure projects within CAREC countries with the aim of achieving a pipeline of sustainable and effective projects.

Papers in category II should accomplish the following:

  1. Evaluate the impact of infrastructure provision in the short-, mid-, and long-term using treatment and control groups. It is imperative to provide estimations with varying treatment groups, varying control groups, and robustness checks.
  2. Using data on regional tax revenue, regional GDP, regional sectoral output, and other regional economic outcomes which might be affected by infrastructure projects, demonstrate the magnitude and pattern of the economic effects. It is necessary to have a minimum of three outcome variables of interest.
  3. Based on 1–2 above, provide policy recommendations for promoting innovative financing methods for infrastructure projects with aim of sustainability.

Deliverables

  1. An original publishable research paper covering topics in either category I or II above (30–35 pages, A4): preliminary draft—30 September 2018, final draft―30 November 2018. The paper should include an abstract, keywords, and JEL codes, and be accompanied by Excel files of any figures and non-editable tables.
  2. Attendance in workshops and conferences organized by ADBI, ADB, CAREC Institute, and other activity sponsors.
  3. A blog post of 600–1,000 words for ADBI’s Asia Pathways and CAREC Institute’s Policy Perspective.

The selection committee for the conference program consists of senior researchers of ADB, ADBI, and CAREC Institute.

Important dates

  • Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 May 2018
  • Workshop date: 22 June 2018

Submissions

Please send your response to this call for papers to Asian Development Bank Institute ([email protected]).

Funding

All submissions should be forwarded via email with the subject line “Measuring Infrastructure Impacts_{your last name}_{paper title}”. Authors whose proposals have been selected will be notified by 20 May. Only authors of selected manuscripts will be notified. For one presenter of each accepted manuscript, the organizers will cover the cost of one round-trip economy-class airfare, hotel accommodation, and daily subsistence allowance for the duration of the conference, plus an honorarium for the paper. Presenters must be a citizen of an ADB member country.