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Good countries or good projects ? macro and micro correlates of World Bank project performance

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  • Denizer, Cevdet
  • Kaufmann, Daniel
  • Kraay, Aart

Abstract

The authors use data from more than 6,000 World Bank projects evaluated between 1983 and 2009 to investigate macro and micro correlates of project outcomes. They find that country-level"macro"measures of the quality of policies and institutions are very strongly correlated with project outcomes, confirming the importance of country-level performance for the effective use of aid resources. However, a striking feature of the data is that the success of individual development projects varies much more within countries than it does between countries. The authors assemble a large set of project-level"micro"correlates of project outcomes in an effort to explain some of this within-country variation. They find that measures of project size, the extent of project supervision, and evaluation lags are all significantly correlated with project outcomes, as are early-warning indicators that flag problematic projects during the implementation stage. They also find that measures of World Bank project task manager quality matter significantly for the ultimate outcome of projects. They discuss the implications of these findings for donor policies aimed at aid effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Denizer, Cevdet & Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart, 2011. "Good countries or good projects ? macro and micro correlates of World Bank project performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5646, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5646
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    3. Andrews, Matt & Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2013. "Escaping Capability Traps Through Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA)," World Development, Elsevier, pages 234-244.
    4. Laura Metzger & Isabel Günther, 2013. "Analyzing Effectiveness of Development Aid Projects: Evaluation Ratings or Project Indicators?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 154, Courant Research Centre PEG.
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    7. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2016. "Law, Politics and the Quality of Government in Africa," Working Papers 16/019, African Governance and Development Institute..
    8. Kilby, Christopher, 2013. "The political economy of project preparation: An empirical analysis of World Bank projects," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 211-225.
    9. Dreher, Axel & Fuchs, Andreas & Hodler, Roland & Parks, Bradley C. & Raschky, Paul A. & Tierney, Michael J., 2015. "Aid on Demand: African Leaders and the Geography of China's Foreign Assistance," CEPR Discussion Papers 10704, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Pritchett, Lant & Samji, Salimah & Hammer, Jeffrey S., 2012. "It's All about MeE: Using Structured Experiential Learning ('e') to Crawl the Design Space," WIDER Working Paper Series 104, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    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. Aga, Deribe Assefa, 2016. "Factors affecting the success of development projects : A behavioral perspective," Other publications TiSEM 867ae95e-d53d-4a68-ad46-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    13. Dobronogov, Anton & Gelb, Alan & Saldanha, Fernando Brant, 2014. "How should donors respond to resource windfalls in poor countries ? from aid to insurance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6952, The World Bank.
    14. Presbitero, Andrea F., 2016. "Too much and too fast? Public investment scaling-up and absorptive capacity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 17-31.
    15. Qi Zhang, 2016. "Project Performance and Bid Evaluation:Evidence from World Bank Procurement Auctions," OxCarre Working Papers 184, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    16. Legovini, Arianna & Di Maro, Vincenzo & Piza, Caio, 2015. "Impact evaluation helps deliver development projects," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7157, The World Bank.
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    19. Feeny, Simon & Vuong, Vu, 2017. "Explaining Aid Project and Program Success: Findings from Asian Development Bank Interventions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 329-343.
    20. Moll, Peter & Geli, Patricia & Saavedra, Pablo, 2015. "Correlates of success in World Bank development policy lending," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7181, The World Bank.
    21. Christopher Kilby & Katharina Michaelowa, 2016. "What Influences World Bank Project Evaluations?," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 26, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
    22. Ralston, Laura, 2014. "Success in difficult environments : a portfolio analysis of fragile and conflict-affected states," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7098, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing&Human Habitats; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Banks&Banking Reform; Economic Theory&Research; Country Strategy&Performance;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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