Series - Incentives and Comparative Advantage (INCA) research and knowledge products

Identity area

Reference code



Incentives and Comparative Advantage (INCA) research and knowledge products


  • 1963 - 1991 (predominant 1970 - 1985) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

45.36 linear feet of textual records

Context area

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Series consists of records related to the Incentives and Comparative Advantage (INCA) unit's applied research work including developing methodologies and tools to support INCA studies and analysis of studies. Most records were maintained by Economist Garry Pursell beginning from his tenure with the Development Research Center (DRC) and its previous units under the Development Policy Vice Presidency (VPD) in the 1970s before he was transferred to the International Development Finance Department (IDF) to lead the Bank's new INCA unit in 1981. Other records were created by consultants with the INCA unit when it was under the Strategy and Policy Division, Industry Department (INDSP). In some cases, material was added to the files by Pursell or colleagues after 1985 when the INCA unit was discontinued; these six additional files date from 1986 to 1991.

Research and reference materials

Most of the records in this series comprise research material created and collected for a study of Cote d'Ivoire carried out by the INDSP INCA unit and possibly predecessors. The effective protection study analyzed various types of incentive indicators (effective protection and effective subsidy) and comparative advantage indicators (effective rates of protection [ERC] and domestic resource cost [DRC]) using data from 84 industrial firms in Cote d'Ivoire. Records include the export questionnaires in French, 1984 printouts of calculations made from the computer program on which the data had been entered, and the resulting material based on the survey data including handwritten notes, export statistics, and price calculation outlines. These records are also filed with reference documentation including journal articles, external guidelines, and working papers (1970 - 1983). Predominant industries covered in the export survey include textiles, beverages, and edible oils.

Cote d'Ivoire research records also include four volumes of country papers and reports on various aspects about the economy of Cote d'Ivoire created by various units of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) units (1972 - 1978) and a larger body of reference files in English and French, some containing Bank internal reports, pertaining to the country's various industries and economy (1968 - 1984) that were used in the study. Additional reports, studies, pamphlets, project descriptions, and other records compiled by the INCA unit in support of the study were authored by various departments of the Government of Cote d'Ivoire and by external agencies and organizations (1963 - 1984). These pertain to existing and proposed industries, customs tariff schedules, financial reports, and trade statistics.

Other research materials include INCA country files representing nearly 40 countries that were maintained by Pursell and used as background information and data for INCA research projects and studies by DRC and successor INCA unit. Files contain draft and final reports authored by DRC staff and other Bank department staff (IFD), Board papers, Bank and external working papers including sector strategy paper, copies of externally authored publications and journal articles, research proposals, back-to-office reports (BTORs), and memoranda related to effective protection and associated topics or project data (1968, 1971 - 1991). Memoranda and letters beginning from the 1970s are between DRC staff including Pursell, Larry Westphal, and Consultant Bela Balassa and occasionally the Bank's regional units.

Methodology and applied research

The series contains records related to the INCA staff and consultants' methodology work as a primary task under its applied research responsibility (1978, 1980 - 1991 [predominant 1982 - 1985]). These records, including discussion papers, unpublished technical and procedure notes (first draft and final versions), export questionnaire (French), document the methods used for analysis on effective protection, domestic resource cost (DRC) estimates, export incentives and related concepts.

Applied research outputs to support INCA country studies develop Bank operational tools, also referred to as "infrastructure" according to the various INCA unit reports, are also represented in the series and include a draft interview guide on incentive issues, INCA program description and model for computing, bibliographies and summaries of studies, and one of the unit's final products, a 1985 final draft manual for INCA for country officials and researchers.

Knowledge and information products

The series also contains records related to the pooling of international price data for numerous industrial products (1972 - 1974, 1980 - 1984). The INCA unit collected global price data for numerous industrial products to make accessible for international data pooling and exchange. Specific records include: internal memoranda and correspondence with external institutes or government offices concerning the collection or sharing of price information; copy of the multipage form that the unit designed for requesting prices; directory of information sources on international prices (1984) prepared by the unit; and related reference material used to compile the directory including copies of Industry Department (IND) papers, published Bank working papers, external publications, and news clippings. Early material includes copies of internal memoranda distributed to Central Projects Staff (CPS) management about a border prices paper (1973), and external reference material.

Lastly, another group of records (1971 - 1985) entitled "liaison" consist of unpublished and published reports and other items authored or co-authored by Pursell, other INDSP staff and consultants including Yoon Joo Lee, or authored by international academics that were collected by Pursell and INCA personnel. Records mostly contain draft and final reports, working papers, case study, lectures, and copies of published articles and external reports. A few files created before 1981 relate to Pursell's work in the DRC unit; one of these contains reports on a Bank workshop on trade policy in relation to industry in developing countries (1980).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Tapes of an unknown format contained calculations used in the Cote d'Ivoire INCA study on incentive indicators were made from a computer program that ran on a Burroughs mainframe computer. These tapes were destroyed in the late 1980s or early 1990s due to technological obsolescence and inability to read the data. Paper printouts of the data were retained and are described above in the scope and content note.


System of arrangement

Records are mainly arranged alphabetically by subject. A portion of the files are organized by country.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are subject to the World Bank Access to Information Policy.

Conditions governing reproduction

Records are subject to the Copyright Policy of the World Bank Group.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

An inventory list is available here.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

  • See Records of the Industry and Mining Sector - Records of the Strategy and Policy Division, Incentives and Comparative Advantage (INCA) Unit - INCA Support (WB IBRD/IDAIND-07-02) for records related to implementing country INCA studies in support of Bank lending.

  • See Records of the Industry and Mining Sector - Operations research and policy (WB IBRD/IDA IND-06) for related records concerning research of Software for Industrial Trade and Incentives Analysis (SINTIA) developed by INDSP, later IENIN and for INCA-type research of INDSP staff outside of the INCA Unit including an industrial export questionnaire and study of Korea.

  • Records of the Office of the Chief Economist - Records of the Office of the Vice President, Development Policy (VPD) and the Development Policy Staff (WB IBRD/IDA DEC-01) for records of the Bank's research activities and projects and the Development Research Center, during Pursell's tenure. Also see Records of the Chief Economist - Records of the Office of the Vice President, Development Economics and Chief Economist and later Senior Vice President, Development Economics and Chief Economist (DECVP) (WB IBRD/IDA DEC-03) for related records including publications, chronological "reading" files and research of Bela Balassa.

  • See Records of Individual Staff Members - Moeen Qureshi files - Subject files (WB IBRD/IDA STAFF-26-01) for correspondence and related records of Bank Consultant Bela Belassa's 1971 publication "Structure of Protection in Developing Countries".

  • See the World Bank Group's Documents & Reports (D&R) repository for publicly accessible digitized reports and studies including the early INCA-based Research Project Output (RPO) reports by Belassa and others, as well as publications of Garry Pursell and INCA unit consultants Yoon Joo Lee, Neil Roger, and Edward Tower. A digitized copy of "On Shadow Pricing" (1986) is available in D&R.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Internal World Bank Group Archives rules based on ISAD(G).

Disclosure status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

08 September 2022




Accession area