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Does it take two to tango? Improving cooperation between the IMF and the World Bank: theory and empirical evidence

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Listed:
  • Silvia Marchesi
  • Laura Sabani

Abstract

In this paper we present a theoretical model which, focusing on the quality of information transmission between the IMF and the WB, analyzes the sources of the expected loss in the overall performance of the two institutions relative to the first best outcome, which is characterized by centralized decision and perfect information. In particular, given the Bank-Fund strong complementarities, we show that strategic communication is indeed the primary source of loss for the two institutions. A testable implication of the model is to relate Bank-Fund's performance to their willingness (or ability) to communicate. We find evidence that a Bank-Fund simultaneous loan is beneficial to growth and, consistently with the theory, such beneficial effect is reduced by factors preventing full communication, such as the degree of Bank-Fund competition and the salience of their private information.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvia Marchesi & Laura Sabani, 2014. "Does it take two to tango? Improving cooperation between the IMF and the World Bank: theory and empirical evidence," Working Papers 280, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:280
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marchesi, Silvia & Sabani, Laura & Dreher, Axel, 2011. "Read my lips: The role of information transmission in multilateral reform design," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 86-98, May.
    2. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2009. "Development aid and international politics: Does membership on the UN Security Council influence World Bank decisions?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-18, January.
    3. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil R. Bhavnani & Samuel Bazzi, 2012. "Counting Chickens when they Hatch: Timing and the Effects of Aid on Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 590-617, June.
    4. Axel Dreher & Vera Eichenauer & Kai Gehring, 2013. "Geopolitics, Aid and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 4299, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. William Easterly, 2008. "Institutions: Top Down or Bottom Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 95-99, May.
    6. Feinberg, Richard E., 1988. "The changing relationship between the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 545-560, June.
    7. Dreher, Axel, 2006. "IMF and economic growth: The effects of programs, loans, and compliance with conditionality," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 769-788, May.
    8. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 643-665, November.
    9. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting chickens when they hatch: The short-term effect of aid on growth," International Finance 0407010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. World Bank, 2008. "World Development Indicators 2008," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11855.
    11. 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.
    12. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2005. "IMF programs: Who is chosen and what are the effects?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1245-1269, October.
    13. Dreher, Axel & Jensen, Nathan M, 2007. "Independent Actor or Agent? An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of U.S. Interests on International Monetary Fund Conditions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 105-124, February.
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    18. Sivlai Marchesi & Emanuela Sirtori, 2010. "Is two better than one? Effects on growth of Bank-Fund interaction," Working Papers 189, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2010.
    19. Michael Fabricius, 2007. "Merry Sisterhood or Guarded Watchfulness? Cooperation Between the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank," Working Paper Series WP07-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    IMF and WB conditionality; coordination; communication;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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