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Political economy studies: are they actionable ? some lessons from Zambia


  • Beuran, Monica
  • Raballand, Gael
  • Kapoor, Kapil


In recent years, the number of studies looking at the effect of politics on economic outcomes has flourished. For developing economies, these studies are useful to better understand why long overdue reforms are not implemented. The studies analyze the overall context within which reforms are being implemented and the underlying incentive framework. However, it seems difficult to make such studies actionable, especially in sectors where donors have a heavy presence that can sometimes distort incentives in addition to the reluctance from some governments to amend the existing systems in place. This paper focuses on some conclusions emerging from the political economy diagnostics carried out in Zambia in various sectors in recent years. Based on interviews of World Bank task managers, the paper attempts to assess the relevance of these studies for the implementation of projects and the policy dialogue and draws lessons on how they have influenced the implementation of the World Bank's support to programs in various sectors in Zambia as well as the main challenges for this type of exercise.

Suggested Citation

  • Beuran, Monica & Raballand, Gael & Kapoor, Kapil, 2011. "Political economy studies: are they actionable ? some lessons from Zambia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5656, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5656

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    Cited by:

    1. Kate Bridges, 2013. "Avoiding Tokenism in Demand for Good Governance Activities : Lessons from World Bank-financed Lending Projects in Zambia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13219, The World Bank.
    2. Laura Routley & David Hulme, 2013. "Donors, development agencies and the use of political economic analysis: getting to grips with the politics of development?," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series esid-019-13, GDI, The University of Manchester.

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    Environmental Economics&Policies; Political Economy; Governance Indicators; Debt Markets; Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures;

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