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

Listed author(s):
  • Silvia Marchesi
  • Laura Sabani

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.

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File URL: http://dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper280.pdf
File Function: First version, 2014
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 280.

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Length: 46
Date of creation: Oct 2014
Date of revision: Oct 2014
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:280
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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. William Easterly, 2008. "Institutions: Top Down or Bottom Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 95-99, May.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Michael A. Clemens & Steven Radelet & Rikhil Bhavnani, 2004. "Counting chickens when they hatch: The short-term effect of aid on growth," International Finance 0407010, EconWPA.
  9. World Bank, 2008. "World Development Indicators 2008," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11855, December.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Avinash Dixit, 2009. "Governance Institutions and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 5-24, March.
  14. Anne O. Krueger, 1998. "Whither the World Bank and the IMF?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1983-2020, December.
  15. Christoph Moser & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2011. "Explaining IMF lending decisions after the Cold War," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 307-340, September.
  16. Kilby, Christopher, 2009. "The political economy of conditionality: An empirical analysis of World Bank loan disbursements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 51-61, May.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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