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Shopping for Development: Multilateral Lending, Shareholder Composition and Borrower Preferences


  • Humphrey, Chris
  • Michaelowa, Katharina


This paper proposes two theoretical considerations regarding Multilateral development banks (MDBs). The first is that MDB activities are increasingly driven by the growing economic strength of many developing countries. The second is that categorizing MDBs according to the balance of power among shareholders helps explain why countries might prefer one or another MDB. We compare three different MDBs operating in Latin America—one dominated by nonborrowers (World Bank), another controlled by borrowing countries (Andean Development Corporation, CAF), and a third more evenly split between borrowers and nonborrowers (Inter-American Development Bank, IADB). Qualitative and statistical analysis suggests that demand factors play an important role in MDB lending.

Suggested Citation

  • Humphrey, Chris & Michaelowa, Katharina, 2013. "Shopping for Development: Multilateral Lending, Shareholder Composition and Borrower Preferences," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 142-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:44:y:2013:i:c:p:142-155
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.12.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ilene Grabel, 2012. "Financial Architectures and Development: Resilience, Policy Space, and Human Development in the Global South (revised June 2012)," Working Papers wp281_revised, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meibo Huang & Na Chen & Yanhong Chen, 2016. "An analysis on the potential competitiveness of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 23(2), pages 19-34, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Yanguas, Pablo & Hulme, David, 2015. "Barriers to Political Analysis in Aid Bureaucracies: From Principle to Practice in DFID and the World Bank," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 209-219.
    4. Axel Dreher & Katharina Richert, 2017. "The Political Economy of International Finance Corporation Lending," CESifo Working Paper Series 6661, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Strand, Jonathan R. & Zappile, Tina M., 2015. "Always Vote for Principle, Though You May Vote Alone: Explaining United States Political Support for Multilateral Development Loans," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 224-239.
    6. Patrick Bayer & Christopher Marcoux & Johannes Urpelainen, 2014. "Choosing international organizations: When do states and the World Bank collaborate on environmental projects?," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 413-440, December.


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