IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/6275.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The World Bank and governance : the Bank's efforts to help developing countries build state capacity

Author

Listed:
  • de Janvry, Alain
  • Dethier, Jean-Jacques

Abstract

This paper examines historically the World Bank's twin features: lending to developing economies to achieve tangible results and advocating specific development policies. Section 1 provides some conceptual underpinnings for the view that an effective state is essential for development. It asks whether development can be engineered, and state capacity increased, with large aid flows. Section 2 sketches the historical evolution of what characterizes the World Bank: lending to developing economies and advocacy of development policy. It concludes that, while the Bank discourse explicitly recognizes that developing countries need to improve their governance and build the capacity of the public sector to improve living standards, the Bank's performance in assisting governments in building state capacity and achieving better governance outcomes has been disappointing. Section 3 proposes an interpretation of why this has been the case. The interpretation is structural, and related to the way the Bank is organized. This concerns in particular (1) how its research is prioritized and used for decision-making, (2) how its leadership achieves a consensus between shareholders who hold different views on the role of government in the economy, and (3) how incentives for its staff emphasize disbursement and short-term success, and not capacity building and longer-term institutional sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • de Janvry, Alain & Dethier, Jean-Jacques, 2012. "The World Bank and governance : the Bank's efforts to help developing countries build state capacity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6275, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6275
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2012/11/21/000158349_20121121132944/Rendered/PDF/wps6275.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Knack, Stephen & Rahman, Aminur, 2007. "Donor fragmentation and bureaucratic quality in aid recipients," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 176-197, May.
    2. Haavelmo, Trygve, 1997. "Econometrics and the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(6), pages 13-15, December.
    3. Nicholas Stern & Jean-Jacques Dethier & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Growth and Empowerment: Making Development Happen," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262693461, January.
    4. Ghazala Mansuri, 2004. "Community-Based and -Driven Development: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 1-39.
    5. Stefan Koeberle & Harold Bedoya & Peter Silarszky & Gero Verheyen, 2005. "Conditionality Revisited : Concepts, Experiences, and Lessons," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7346, April.
    6. Easterly, William, 2005. "What did structural adjustment adjust?: The association of policies and growth with repeated IMF and World Bank adjustment loans," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-22, February.
    7. Michele Alacevich, 2009. "The Political Economy of the World Bank : The Early Years," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13807, April.
    8. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
    9. Jean-Jacques Dethier & Maximilian Hirn & Stéphane Straub, 2011. "Explaining Enterprise Performance in Developing Countries with Business Climate Survey Data," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 258-309, August.
    10. Laura Langbein & Stephen Knack, 2010. "The Worldwide Governance Indicators: Six, One, or None?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 350-370.
    11. Denizer, Cevdet & Dethier, Jean-Jacques & Gelb, Alan, 2011. "Development Economics and the International Development Association," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5541, The World Bank.
    12. Dethier, Jean-Jacques, 2009. "World Bank policy research : a historical overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5000, The World Bank.
    13. M A Thomas, 2010. "What Do the Worldwide Governance Indicators Measure?," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 22(1), pages 31-54, February.
    14. Brian Levy & Sahr Kpundeh, 2004. "Building State Capacity in Africa : New Approaches, Emerging Lessons," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14878, April.
    15. Channing Arndt & Sam Jones & Finn Tarp, 2011. "Aid Effectiveness: Opening the Black Box," WIDER Working Paper Series 044, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Merilee S. Grindle, 2007. "Good Enough Governance Revisited," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 25(5), pages 533-574, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hausman, William J. & Neufeld, John L. & Schreiber, Till, 2014. "Multilateral and bilateral aid policies and trends in the allocation of electrification aid, 1970–2001," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 54-62.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banks&Banking Reform; Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures; Governance Indicators; Environmental Economics&Policies; National Governance;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6275. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.