IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Supervision and Performance : The Case of World Bank Projects


  • Kilby, C.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)


This paper explores empirical aspects of the relation between supervision and project performance. I focus on development projects funded by the World Bank and on supervision done by the World Bank. The World Bank is the preeminent international development organization both in terms of money lent and leadership; furthermore, data measuring project performance and supervision are relatively comprehensive. The link between supervision and performance is of theoretical interest because it illuminates one side of World Bank-borrower interaction and of practical interest because supervision is an instrument controlled by the World Bank which may improve project performance. Data are from 1426 World Bank-funded projects completed between 1981 and 1991. Analysis of the influence of World Bank supervision on project performance uses annual supervision and annual interim performance ratings. The annual updating process which generates the discrete interim ratings is described by an ordered probit likelihood function. Maximum likelihood estimates indicate a positive impact of early supervision on performance; late supervision has significantly less influence. The estimation predicts that a significant and persistent increase in the level of supervision may lead to a gain of several percentage points in the economic rate of return. Because of the size of World Bank-funded projects, the potential gains from increasing supervision far outweigh the costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Kilby, C., 1995. "Supervision and Performance : The Case of World Bank Projects," Discussion Paper 1995-45, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:007b4376-4d77-42bf-892d-f1e439617f23

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kaufmann, Daniel & Wang, Yan, 1995. "Macroeconomic policies and project performance in the social sectors: A model of human capital production and evidence from LDCs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 751-765, May.
    2. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Renault, Eric & Trognon, Alain, 1987. "Simulated residuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 201-252.
    3. Isham, Jonathan & Kaufmann,Daniel, 1995. "The forgotten rationale for policy reform : the productivity of investment projects," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1549, The World Bank.
    4. Kilby, Christopher, 2000. "Supervision and performance: the case of World Bank projects," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 233-259, June.
    5. Katada, Saori N., 1997. "Two aid hegemons: Japanese-US interaction and aid allocation to Latin America and the Caribbean," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 931-945, June.
    6. G. S. Maddala, 1987. "Limited Dependent Variable Models Using Panel Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 307-338.
    7. Pohl, Gerhard & Mihaljek, Dubravko, 1992. "Project Evaluation and Uncertainty in Practice: A Statistical Analysis of Rate-of-Return Divergences of 1,015 World Bank Projects," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 255-277, May.
    8. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn & Basu, Swati, 1998. "Does Economic Analysis Improve the Quality of Foreign Assistance?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 385-418, September.
    9. Trumbull, William N & Wall, Howard J, 1994. "Estimating Aid-Allocation Criteria with Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 876-882, July.
    10. Dewald, Michael & Weder, Rolf, 1996. "Comparative advantage and bilateral foreign aid policy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 549-556, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:007b4376-4d77-42bf-892d-f1e439617f23. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Broekman). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.