IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Positioning the World Bank


  • Gilbert, Christopher
  • Powell, Andrew
  • Vines, David


This article examines the rationale for the World Bank and explores whether its objective is best served by its current mix of activities. We are critical of the Bank's reliance on conditionality, and advocate evolution into a Knowledge Bank, which would lend with few conditions to countries with good policies and good institutions, and would concentrate on the provision of knowledge and technical assistance, rather than lending, in countries where the policy framework is poor. We also advocate an expansion in the Bank's role as a provider of global public goods; we critically examine the Banks role in relation to financial crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilbert, Christopher & Powell, Andrew & Vines, David, 1999. "Positioning the World Bank," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(459), pages 598-633, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:109:y:1999:i:459:p:f598-633

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, July.
    3. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445.
    4. Jeremy Berkowitz & Lorenzo Giorgianni, 2001. "Long-Horizon Exchange Rate Predictability?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 81-91, February.
    5. Ball, Laurence, 2001. "Another look at long-run money demand," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 31-44, February.
    6. Obstfeld, M., 1998. "Risk and Exchange Rate," Papers 193, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    7. Paul R. Bergin & Robert C. Feenstra, "undated". "Staggered Price Setting And Endogenous Persistence," Department of Economics 98-05, California Davis - Department of Economics.
    8. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
    9. Michael, Panos & Nobay, A Robert & Peel, David A, 1997. "Transactions Costs and Nonlinear Adjustment in Real Exchange Rates: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 862-879, August.
    10. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-1176, December.
    11. Chinn, Menzie D. & Meese, Richard A., 1995. "Banking on currency forecasts: How predictable is change in money?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 161-178, February.
    12. Mark, Nelson C, 1995. "Exchange Rates and Fundamentals: Evidence on Long-Horizon Predictability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 201-218, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. James Boyce, 2003. "Aid, Conditionality, and War Economies," Working Papers wp70, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    2. Bhaumik, Sumon Kumar, 2005. "Does the World Bank have any impact on human development of the poorest countries? Some preliminary evidence from Africa," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 422-432, December.
    3. José Antonio Ocampo, 2000. "Recasting the International Financial Agenda," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 2000-18, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
    4. Sergio Clavijo, 2000. "Las Multilaterales Y Las Crisis Asiática (1997-2000): La Visión Desde Un País Usuario (Colombia)," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003119, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    5. Agostino, Mariarosaria, 2008. "World Bank Conditional Loans and Private Investment in Recipient Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1692-1708, October.
    6. James K. Boyce, 2004. "Aid, Conditionality, and War Economies," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2004-05, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    7. Jonathan Pincus, 2000. "The Post-Washington Consensus and Lending Operations in Agriculture: New Rhetoric and Old Operational Realities," Working Papers 109, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    8. Mallick, Sushanta & Moore, Tomoe, 2005. "Impact of World Bank lending in an adjustment-led growth model," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 366-383, December.
    9. Yilmaz AKYüZ, 2005. "Reforming The Imf: Back To The Drawing Board," G-24 Discussion Papers 38, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    10. Ikhide, Sylvanus I., 2002. "Institutional Reforms and the Role of Multilateral Aid Agencies," WIDER Working Paper Series 119, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Ruimin He, 2003. "The World Bank of the Future," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 39-44, May.
    12. William Perraudin & Andrew Powell & Peng Yang, 2016. "Multilateral Development Bank Ratings and Preferred Creditor Status," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 94656, Inter-American Development Bank.
    13. Goyal, Ashima, 2002. "Reform proposals from developing Asia: finding a win-win strategy," MPRA Paper 30527, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. 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.
    15. Matteo Bobba & Andrew Powell, 2006. "Mediación multilateral de la ayuda extranjera," Research Department Publications 4501, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    16. Martin Ravallion & Adam Wagstaff, 2012. "The World Bank’s publication record," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 343-368, December.
    17. Sergio Clavijo, 2000. "Las Multilaterales y la Crisis Asiática (1997-2000): La Visión desde un País Usuario (Colombia)," Borradores de Economia 142, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    18. William Perraudin & Andrew Powell & Peng Yang, 2016. "Multilateral Development Bank Ratings and Preferred Creditor Status," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7686, Inter-American Development Bank.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:109:y:1999:i:459:p:f598-633. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.