IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Good countries or good projects? Macro and micro correlates of World Bank project performance

Listed author(s):
  • Denizer, Cevdet
  • Kaufmann, Daniel
  • Kraay, Aart

This paper investigates macro and micro correlates of aid-financed development project outcomes, using data from over 6000 World Bank projects evaluated between 1983 and 2011. Country-level “macro” measures of the quality of policies and institutions are strongly correlated with project outcomes, consistent with the view that country-level performance matters for aid effectiveness. However, a striking feature of the data is that the success of individual development projects varies much more within countries than it does between countries. A large set of project-level “micro” variables, including project size, project length, the effort devoted to project preparation and supervision, and early-warning indicators that flag problematic projects during the implementation stage, accounts for some of this within-country variation in project outcomes. Measures of World Bank project manager quality also matter significantly for the ultimate project outcomes. We discuss the implications of these findings for donor policies aimed at aid effectiveness.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304387813000874
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 105 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 288-302

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:288-302
DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.06.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a Cross Section of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 207-230.
  2. Axel Dreher & Stephan Klasen & James Raymond Vreeland & Eric Werker, 2013. "The Costs of Favoritism: Is Politically Driven Aid Less Effective?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(1), pages 157-191.
  3. Guillaumont, Patrick & Laajaj, Rachid, 2006. "When instability increases the effectiveness of aid projects," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4034, The World Bank.
  4. David Roodman, 2007. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Aid, Development, and Cross-Country Empirics," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 255-277, May.
  5. Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2000. "Aid effectiveness disputed," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 375-398.
  6. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2009. "The Aid Effectiveness Literature: The Sad Results Of 40 Years Of Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 433-461, 07.
  7. Aart Kraay, 2012. "Instrumental variables regressions with uncertain exclusion restrictions: a Bayesian approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 108-128, 01.
  8. Jonathan Isham & Daniel Kaufmann, 1999. "The Forgotten Rationale for Policy Reform: The Productivity of Investment Projects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 149-184.
  9. Dollar, David & Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "What Explains the Success or Failure of Structural Adjustment Programmes?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 894-917, October.
  10. Arndt Channing & Jones Sam & Tarp Finn, 2010. "Aid, Growth, and Development: Have We Come Full Circle?," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-29, December.
  11. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil R. Bhavnani & Samuel Bazzi, 2012. "Counting Chickens when they Hatch: Timing and the Effects of Aid on Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 590-617, 06.
  12. Chauvet, Lisa & Collier, Paul & Duponchel, Marguerite, 2010. "What explains aid project success in post-conflict situations ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5418, The World Bank.
  13. Erick Gong, 2011. "HIV Testing and Risky Sexual Behavior," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 1101, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  14. Wane, Waly, 2004. "The quality of foreign aid : country selectivity or donors incentives?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3325, The World Bank.
  15. Bianca Clausen & Aart Kraay & Peter Murrell, 2011. "Does Respondent Reticence Affect the Results of Corruption Surveys? Evidence from the World Bank Enterprise Survey for Nigeria," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Corruption, Volume Two, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  16. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn & Basu, Swati, 1998. "Does Economic Analysis Improve the Quality of Foreign Assistance?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 385-418, September.
  17. Olken, Benjamin A., 2009. "Corruption perceptions vs. corruption reality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 950-964, August.
  18. Kilby, Christopher, 2000. "Supervision and performance: the case of World Bank projects," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 233-259, June.
  19. Jan F. Kiviet, 2013. "Identification and inference in a simultaneous equation under alternative information sets and sampling schemes," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 16(1), pages 24-59, 02.
  20. World Bank, 2010. "Cost-Benefit Analysis in World Bank Projects," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10481, The World Bank.
  21. Channing Arndt & Sam Jones & Finn Tarp, 2009. "Aid and Growth: Have We Come Full Circle?," WIDER Working Paper Series WIDER Discussion Paper 20, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  22. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 643-665, November.
  23. Dollar, David & Levin, Victoria, 2005. "Sowing and reaping: institutional quality and project outcomes in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3524, The World Bank.
  24. Isham, Jonathan & Kaufmann, Daniel & Pritchett, Lant H, 1997. "Civil Liberties, Democracy, and the Performance of Government Projects," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 219-242, May.
  25. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
  26. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
  27. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  28. Minoiu, Camelia & Reddy, Sanjay G., 2010. "Development aid and economic growth: A positive long-run relation," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 27-39, February.
  29. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 1999. "Aid Effectiveness Disputed," MPRA Paper 62290, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  30. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting chickens when they hatch: The short-term effect of aid on growth," International Finance 0407010, EconWPA.
  31. Kilby, Christopher, 2013. "The political economy of project preparation: An empirical analysis of World Bank projects," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 211-225.
  32. Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2009. "Can good projects succeed in bad communities?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 899-916, August.
  33. Christopher Kilby, 2012. "Assessing the contribution of donor agencies to aid effectiveness: The impact of World Bank preparation on project outcomes," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 20, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:288-302. 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: (Dana Niculescu)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.