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Corporate Governance at the World Bank and the Dilemma of Global Governance

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  • Ashwin Kaja
  • Eric Werker
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    Abstract

    Most major decisions at the World Bank are made by its Board of Executive Directors. While some countries enjoy the opportunity to serve on this powerful body, most countries rarely, if ever, get that chance. This gives rise to the question: Does board membership lead to higher funding from the World Bank's two main development financing institutions, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Empirical analysis shows that developing countries serving on the board can expect more than double the funding from the IBRD as countries not on the board. In absolute terms, countries on the board receive an average $60 million "bonus" in IBRD loans, an amount that rises in years when IBRD loans are in high demand, particularly for countries in the most influential seats. This effect is more likely driven by informal rules and norms in the boardroom than by the power of the vote itself. No significant effect is found in IDA funding. These results point to challenges of global governance through representative institutions. Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / the world bank . All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 171-198

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:24:y:2010:i:2:p:171-198

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    Cited by:
    1. Kearney, Colm, 2012. "Emerging markets research: Trends, issues and future directions," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 159-183.
    2. Dreher, Axel & Voigt, Stefan, 2011. "Does membership in international organizations increase governments' credibility? Testing the effects of delegating powers," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 326-348, September.
    3. Christopher Kilby, 2011. "The Political Economy of Project Preparation: An Empirical Analysis of World Bank Projects," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 14, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
    4. James Vreeland, 2011. "Foreign aid and global governance: Buying Bretton Woods – the Swiss-bloc case," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 369-391, September.
    5. Kevin Morrison, 2013. "Membership no longer has its privileges: The declining informal influence of Board members on IDA lending," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 291-312, June.
    6. Randall Stone, 2013. "Informal governance in international organizations: Introduction to the special issue," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 121-136, June.

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