Who Runs the IFIs?
AbstractThe World Bank and the International Monetary Fund play a key role in the international economic architecture. Yet, they are also ‘political’ institutions and their activities inevitably respond to the national interest of one or a group of shareholders. Assessing the role of ‘influential’ shareholders is, however, made difficult by the fact that votes in the Boards of either institution are rarely recorded and at any rate are not made public. We take a different route and look at the pattern of lending of both institutions as a function of their institutional mission and the commercial and financial interests of their main shareholders. We find that the Bank and especially the Fund are quick to respond to the borrowing needs of their members, particularly during a balance of payments crisis. Apart from that, however, the lending pattern of the two institutions is influenced by the commercial and the financial interests of the US and, to a lesser extent, of the EU. European countries in particular seem to be much more concerned by their commercial interests. The role of Japan is even smaller and more regional, being largely confined to decisions concerning Asia.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4666.
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order; Noneconomic International Organizations;; Economic Integration and Globalization: General
- F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2005-02-13 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2005-02-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-POL-2005-02-13 (Positive Political Economics)
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