The importance of a better design of conditionality for improving implementation of World Bank-supported reforms: The case of Sub-Saharan African countries
Some recent empirical research suggests that the implementation of policy reforms is largely dependent on domestic political economy factors. This finding is taken to suggest that aid and adjustment lending should only be provided to those countries that, on the basis of certain characteristics, are more likely to implement policy reform. We put these issues to scrutiny by employing a sophisticated World Bank dataset to explain Sub-Saharan African programme countries’ compliance record. Our empirical results highlight the role of a country’s income status, economic performance and political stability during the programme, the external economic environment, the size of financial support for the reform programme, and initial macroeconomic conditions. These results contradict the evidence underpinning the selectivity approach to policy-based lending and suggest that poor compliance is not the result of low implementation capacity and poor institutional quality alone but also a consequence of poor policy design.
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