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The Political Economy of International Organizations

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  • Axel Dreher
  • Valentin F. Lang

Abstract

We review the literature on the political economy of international organizations (IOs). Considering IOs as products of the preferences of various actors rather than monolithic entities we focus on national politicians, international bureaucrats, interest groups, and voters. By looking into the details of decision-making in IOs the literature shows that a focus on states as the prime actors in IOs overlooks important facets of the empirical reality. Mainly focusing on empirical research, we structure the paper according to the four main actors involved and examine how they influence, use, and shape IOs. We find that IO behavior often reflects the interests of politicians, bureaucrats, and interest groups, while the impact of voters is limited. The final section discusses proposals for reforms addressing this weak representation of voter preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Dreher & Valentin F. Lang, 2016. "The Political Economy of International Organizations," CESifo Working Paper Series 6077, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6077
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    Cited by:

    1. Dreher, Axel & Lang, Valentin F. & Richert, Katharina, 2019. "The political economy of International Finance Corporation lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 242-254.
    2. Krahnke, Tobias, 2020. "Doing more with less: The catalytic function of IMF lending and the role of program size," Discussion Papers 18/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Schuknecht, Ludger & Siegerink, Vincent, 2020. "The political economy of the G20 agenda on financial regulation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    4. Silvia Marchesi & Tania Masi, 2019. "Allocation of Implementing Power: Evidence from World Bank Projects," Development Working Papers 447, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
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    6. Kai Gehring & Valentin F. Lang, 2018. "Stigma or Cushion? IMF Programs and Sovereign Creditworthiness," CESifo Working Paper Series 7339, CESifo.
    7. Lang, Valentin F. & Presbitero, Andrea F., 2018. "Room for discretion? Biased decision-making in international financial institutions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 1-16.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international organizations; public choice; International Monetary Fund; European Union;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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