IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The World Bank’s publication record


  • Martin Ravallion


  • Adam Wagstaff


The World Bank claims to be a “knowledge bank,” but do its knowledge products influence development thinking, or is the Bank merely a proselytizer? The World Bank is a prolific publisher; for example, it has published more journal articles in economics than any university except Harvard. But what about their impact on development thinking? Using citation data from Google Scholar it is hard to discern more than a negligible impact for a great many Bank publications. However, a sizeable minority of its journal articles and books have been highly cited. Compared to leading research universities and other international institutions, the Bank’s ranking in terms of widely-used citation-based indices is no lower than for its journal article counts. This suggests that the Bank’s research does much more than proselytize. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Ravallion & Adam Wagstaff, 2012. "The World Bank’s publication record," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 343-368, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:revint:v:7:y:2012:i:4:p:343-368 DOI: 10.1007/s11558-011-9139-0

    Download full text from publisher

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

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christian Zimmermann, 2013. "Academic Rankings with RePEc," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(3), pages 1-32, December.
    2. van de Walle, Dominique & Mu, Ren, 2007. "Fungibility and the flypaper effect of project aid: Micro-evidence for Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 667-685, November.
    3. Chen, Shaohua & Mu, Ren & Ravallion, Martin, 2009. "Are there lasting impacts of aid to poor areas?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 512-528, April.
    4. Pranab Bardhan, 2003. "Journal publication in economics: a view from the periphery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages 332-337, June.
    5. Das, Jishnu & Do, Quy-Toan & Shaines, Karen & Srikant, Sowmya, 2013. "U.S. and them: The Geography of Academic Research," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 112-130.
    6. 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.
    7. Gavin, Michael & Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "The World Bank in Historical Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 329-334, May.
    8. Wagstaff, Adam, 2011. "Fungibility and the impact of development assistance: Evidence from Vietnam's health sector," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 62-73, January.
    9. Gilbert, Christopher & Powell, Andrew & Vines, David, 1999. "Positioning the World Bank," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(459), pages 598-633, November.
    10. Dollar, David & Levin, Victoria, 2006. "The Increasing Selectivity of Foreign Aid, 1984-2003," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2034-2046, December.
    11. Ravallion, Martin & Wagstaff, Adam, 2010. "On measuring scientific influence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5375, The World Bank.
    12. Silvia Marchesi & Emanuela Sirtori, 2011. "Is two better than one? The effects of IMF and World Bank interaction on growth," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 287-306, September.
    13. Wane, Waly, 2004. "The quality of foreign aid : country selectivity or donors incentives?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3325, The World Bank.
    14. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 947-993, October.
    15. Thomas Flores & Irfan Nooruddin, 2009. "Financing the peace: Evaluating World Bank post-conflict assistance programs," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 1-27, March.
    16. Christopher Barrett & Aliakbar Olia & Dee Von Bailey, 2000. "Subdiscipline-specific journal rankings: whither Applied Economics?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 239-252.
    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. repec:eee:injoed:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Bibliometrics; World Bank; Citations; h-index; Journals; Google Scholar; O19;

    JEL classification:

    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations


    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:spr:revint:v:7:y:2012:i:4:p:343-368. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.