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Membership no longer has its privileges: The declining informal influence of Board members on IDA lending

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  • Kevin Morrison

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Abstract

This paper examines the ability of Board members of the most important multilateral donor to developing countries, the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, to influence IDA allocations toward their home countries. I show that a system of Bank staff ratings of individual countries' policies, which has become more important in IDA lending over time, has systematically reduced the informal power of Board members. I show that while IDA Board members received more IDA commitments than their counterparts prior to 1989, this influence has disappeared since, as the importance of the policy index has increased. The findings are robust to the inclusion of fixed effects and a variety of relevant controls. In order to further support my argument, I also investigate the influence of Board membership on the Bank's policy index itself. I am unable to establish any positive relationship between Board membership and the index, either during the Cold War or afterwards. The findings not only shed important light on the internal workings of World Bank allocations to poor countries, but also highlight the ways in which institutional designs can affect the balance of informal power in international institutions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Morrison, 2013. "Membership no longer has its privileges: The declining informal influence of Board members on IDA lending," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 291-312, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:revint:v:8:y:2013:i:2:p:291-312
    DOI: 10.1007/s11558-012-9163-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kersting, Erasmus & Kilby, Christopher, 2014. "Aid and democracy redux," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 125-143.
    2. Dreher, Axel & Mikosch, Heiner & Voigt, Stefan, 2015. "Membership has its Privileges – The Effect of Membership in International Organizations on FDI," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 346-358.
    3. Kilby, Christopher, 2015. "Assessing the impact of World Bank preparation on project outcomes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 111-123.
    4. Axel Dreher & Vera Eichenauer & Kai Gehring, 2013. "Geopolitics, Aid and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 4299, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Axel Dreher & Katharina Richert, 2017. "The Political Economy of International Finance Corporation Lending," CESifo Working Paper Series 6661, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm & James Raymond Vreeland, 2015. "Politics and IMF Conditionality," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 59(1), pages 120-148, February.
    7. Breßlein, Martin & Schmaljohann, Maya, 2013. "Surrender your market! Do the G5 countries use World Bank Trade Conditionality to promote Trade?," Working Papers 0550, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    8. Reinsberg, Bernhard, 2015. "Foreign Aid Responses to Political Liberalization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 46-61.
    9. Axel Dreher & Katharina Michaelowa, 2008. "The political economy of international organizations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 331-334, December.
    10. Eichenauer, Vera & Knack, Stephen, 2015. "Bilateralizing multilateral aid? Aid allocation by World Bank trust funds," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113211, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Christopher Kilby & Katharina Michaelowa, 2016. "What Influences World Bank Project Evaluations?," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 26, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
    12. 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.
    13. Erasmus Kersting & Christopher Kilby, 2016. "The Rise of Supplemental Lending at the World Bank," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 30, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    World Bank; International Development Association; Aid allocation; Board membership; F34; F35; F53; F55; O19;

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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