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An empirical assessment of informal influence in the World Bank

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.

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File URL: http://repec.library.villanova.edu/workingpapers/VSBEcon9.pdf
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Paper provided by Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics in its series Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series with number 9.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:vil:papers:9
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.villanova.edu/business/facultyareas/economics/

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  1. 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.
  2. Axel Dreher & Nathan Jensen, 2003. "Independent Actor or Agent? An Empirical Analysis of the impact of US interests on IMF Conditions," International Finance 0310004, EconWPA, revised 08 Jan 2004.
  3. Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm & James Raymond Vreeland, 2007. "Development Aid and International Politics: Does membership on the UN Security Council influence World Bank decisions?," KOF Working papers 07-171, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  4. Ale Bulir & A. Javier Hamann, 2003. "Aid Volatility: An Empirical Assessment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(1), pages 4.
  5. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2002. "IMF Programs: Who is Chosen and What Are the Effects?," NBER Working Papers 8951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christopher Kilby, 2009. "Donor influence in international financial institutions: Deciphering what alignment measures measure," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 8, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
  7. Odedokun, Matthew, 2003. "Analysis of Deviations and Delays in Aid Disbursements," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  8. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Henrik Hansen & Thomas Markussen, 2006. "US politics and World Bank IDA-lending," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 772-794.
  9. Domenico Lombardi, 2008. "The governance of the World Bank: Lessons from the corporate sector," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 287-323, September.
  10. Aleš Bulíř & A Javier Hamann, 2007. "Volatility of Development Aid: An Update," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(4), pages 727-739, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Oya Celasun & Jan Walliser, 2008. "Predictability of aid: Do fickle donors undermine aid effectiveness?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 545-594, 07.
  13. Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck & Harr, Thomas & Tarp, Finn, 2006. "On US politics and IMF lending," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1843-1862, October.
  14. Christopher Kilby, 2006. "Donor influence in multilateral development banks: The case of the Asian Development Bank," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 173-195, June.
  15. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2009. "Global horse trading: IMF loans for votes in the United Nations Security Council," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 742-757, October.
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