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Development Policy Lending, Conditionality, and Ownership: A Dynamic Agency Model Perspective


  • Alberto Paloni
  • Maurizio Zanardi


Is the World Bank's Development Policy Lending likely to enhance ownership and have greater effectiveness than structural adjustment? We specify a dynamic common agency model in which a government considering economic reform faces domestic opposition from interest groups. The dynamic specification, which is original in the context of policy reforms supported by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), is essential to allow the strength of special interest groups to arise endogenously during the reform process. We show that conditionality may alter the country's political equilibrium and lead to higher social welfare. However, under certain circumstances which depend on country‐specific circumstances, conditional assistance could lead to lower social welfare. Thus, for conditionality not to be inconsistent with ownership, its design must be appropriate to the country circumstances and directly affect the domestic political constraint.

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  • Alberto Paloni & Maurizio Zanardi, 2006. "Development Policy Lending, Conditionality, and Ownership: A Dynamic Agency Model Perspective," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 253-266, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:10:y:2006:i:2:p:253-266
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9361.2006.00316.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wolfgang Mayer & Alex Mourmouras, 2004. "The Political Economy of Conditional and Unconditional Foreign Assistance; Grants vs. Loan Rollovers," IMF Working Papers 04/38, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Alex Mourmouras & Wolfgang Mayer, 2002. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of IFI Conditionality," IMF Working Papers 02/73, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Wolfgang Mayer, 2004. "The Political Economy of Unconditional and Conditional Foreign Assistance: Grants vs. Loan Rollovers," University of Cincinnati, Economics Working Papers Series 2004-02, University of Cincinnati, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Graham Mallard, 2014. "Static Common Agency And Political Influence: An Evaluative Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 17-35, February.
    2. Wolfgang Mayer & Alex Mourmouras, 2008. "IMF conditionality: An approach based on the theory of special interest politics," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 105-121, June.
    3. Vaughn F. Graham, 2017. "Toward a Conceptual Expansion of Ownership and Post-2015 Global Development Policy: Illustrations from the Jamaican Experience," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 35(3), pages 373-395, May.

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