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  • Riccardo Faini

    (University of Rome Tor Vergata and CEPR, London)

  • Enzo Grilli

    (Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, Washington D.C.)

Abstract

The 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 institutions 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 seems 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 Info

Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 191.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:191

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References

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  1. Fischer, Stanley, 1999. "Reforming the International Financial System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(459), pages F557-76, November.
  2. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Why is there Multilateral Lending?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1207, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Alan Ahearne & Jean Pisani-Ferry & André Sapir & Nicolas Véron, 2006. "The EU and the governance of globalisation," Working Papers 49, Bruegel.
  2. Matteo Bobba & Andrew Powell, 2006. "Multilateral Intermediation of Foreign Aid: What is the Trade-Off for Donor Countries?," Research Department Publications 4500, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Axel Dreher & James Raymond Vreeland, 2011. "Buying Votes and International Organizations," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 78, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  4. Axel Dreher & Silvia Marchesi & James Raymond Vreeland, 2007. "The Politics of IMF Forecasts," Working Papers 124, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2007.
  5. Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm & James Raymond Vreeland, 2006. "Does membership on the UN Security Council influence IMF decisions? Evidence from panel data," KOF Working papers 06-151, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  6. Paolo Pinotti & Riccardo Settimo, 2011. "Does aid buy votes?," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 101, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Axel Dreher & Silvia Marchesi & James Vreeland, 2008. "The political economy of IMF forecasts," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 145-171, October.
  8. Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2006. "Do IMF and World Bank Influence Voting in the UN General Assembly?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1724, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Matteo Bobba & Andrew Powell, 2006. "Mediación multilateral de la ayuda extranjera," Research Department Publications 4501, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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