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An empirical assessment of informal influence in the World Bank

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Abstract

Recent scholarship has uncovered convincing evidence of systematic donor influence in international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank. Less clear is how donors influence IFI decisions. Possible avenues are formal and informal: formal influence through official decisions of the board of executive directors and informal influence over decisions not made at the board level. This paper explores the role of informal influence at the World Bank by examining the flow of funds after loans are approved. Controlling for commitments (loan approvals), are subsequent disbursements linked to the geopolitical interests of important donors? Since the board of executive directors is formally involved in loan approval but not in disbursement decisions, this provides an interesting case to identify the avenues of influence. The results indicate the scope of reforms needed to bolster the independence of the World Bank.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Kilby, 2010. "An empirical assessment of informal influence in the World Bank," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 9, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vil:papers:9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Dreher & Matthew Gould & Matthew Rablen & James Vreeland, 2014. "The determinants of election to the United Nations Security Council," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 51-83, January.
    2. Christopher Kilby, 2011. "Informal influence in the Asian Development Bank," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 223-257, September.
    3. Hernandez, Diego, 2013. "Does Inclusion Guarantee Institutional Autonomy? The Case of the Inter-American Development Bank," Working Papers 0541, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    4. Reinsberg, Bernhard, 2015. "Foreign Aid Responses to Political Liberalization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 46-61.
    5. Axel Dreher & Katharina Michaelowa, 2008. "The political economy of international organizations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 331-334, December.
    6. Kersting, Erasmus K. & Kilby, Christopher, 2016. "With a little help from my friends: Global electioneering and World Bank lending," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 153-165.
    7. 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.
    8. Arthur Foch, 2013. "Explaining the G7 and G10's influence on World Bank decisions: The role of formal and informal rules of governance," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00824678, HAL.
    9. Axel Dreher & Andreas Fuchs, 2011. "Rogue Aid? The Determinants of China’s Aid Allocation," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 93, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 29 Feb 2012.
    10. Breßlein, Martin & Schmaljohann, Maya, 2013. "Surrender your market! Do the G5 countries use World Bank Trade Conditionality to promote Trade?," Working Papers 0550, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    11. Kilby, Christopher, 2015. "Assessing the impact of World Bank preparation on project outcomes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 111-123.
    12. repec:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:1-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Arthur Foch, 2013. "Explaining the G7 and G10's influence on World Bank decisions: The role of formal and informal rules of governance," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13035, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    14. repec:spr:revint:v:12:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11558-017-9274-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Arthur Foch, 2013. "Déterminants et perspectives de la privatisation des infrastructures à Djibouti : Leçons tirées de trois études de cas," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13036, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    16. Elizabeth Bland & Christopher Kilby, 2012. "Informal influence in the Inter-American Development Bank," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 22, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
    17. Oliver Westerwinter, 2015. "Joost Pauwelyn, Ramses A. Wessel and Jan Wouters (Eds.). 2012. Informal international lawmaking. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 97-101, March.
    18. Christopher Kilby, 2012. "Assessing the contribution of donor agencies to aid effectiveness: The impact of World Bank preparation on project outcomes," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 20, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    World Bank; Donor Influence; United States; UN voting; Informal Influence;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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