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

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  • Denizer, Cevdet
  • Kaufmann, Daniel
  • Kraay, Aart

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Denizer, Cevdet & Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart, 2013. "Good countries or good projects? Macro and micro correlates of World Bank project performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 288-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:105:y:2013:i:c:p:288-302
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.06.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aid effectiveness; World Bank projects;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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