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Donor Influence in MDBs: the Case of the Asian Development Bank

This paper explores the influence of Japan and the United States over the geographic distribution of Asian Development Bank (ADB) funds. Although nominally an independent, multilateral organization, the ADB is widely regarded as bowing to the interests of its two most influential donors. Estimation using panel data for less developed Asian countries from 1968 to 2002 reveals significant donor influence with inconsistent weight placed on humanitarian criteria given limited funding for the region’s largest countries, China and India. Comparing the results with research on World Bank loan allocation suggests donor interests are more important in the ADB. This finding justifies the existence of regional development banks on political grounds but calls into question their relative merits on economic grounds.

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Paper provided by Vassar College Department of Economics in its series Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series with number 70.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vas:papers:70
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  1. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Trumbull, William N & Wall, Howard J, 1994. "Estimating Aid-Allocation Criteria with Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 876-82, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Fleck, Robert K. & Kilby, Christopher & Fleck, Robert K., 2001. "World Bank Independence: A Model and Statistical Analysis of U.S. Influence," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 53, Vassar College Department of Economics.
  5. John Hickman, 1993. "Cue Taking and the Distribution of Japanese ODA among African Countries," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 5(1), pages 62-69.
  6. Dani Rodrik, 1995. "Why is there Multilateral Lending?," NBER Working Papers 5160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  8. Frey, Bruno S. & Schneider, Friedrich, 1986. "Competing models of international lending activity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 225-245, March.
  9. O'Connell, Stephen A. & Soludo, Charles C., 2001. "Aid Intensity in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1527-1552, September.
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