Targeting, Accountability and Capture in Development Projects

Forthcoming in 2014 in International Studies Quarterly

34 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 28 Jan 2013

See all articles by Matthew S. Winters

Matthew S. Winters

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Political Science; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: January 1, 2013

Abstract

If development projects are to be effective, a minimum requirement is that the funding reaches its intended destination. Yet the history of international development is replete with examples of this not happening. I argue that there will be fewer problems with corruption or other diversions of funding --- which I jointly label capture --- in more precisely targeted projects. More well-defined targeting results in superior accountability relationships because there is greater clarity of responsibility, clearer information about outcomes and improved identifiability of stakeholders. I use an original cross-country, cross-project dataset on the incidence of capture in World Bank-funded investment projects to test the theory. The data show a negative relationship between targeting and capture, and I demonstrate that this relationship is robust to a variety of specifications. In addition, I find that there is a higher baseline likelihood of project capture in countries perceived as more corrupt according to commonly used survey-based measures from Transparency International and the Worldwide Governance Indicators, cross-validating those measures and my own.

Keywords: corruption, development, World Bank, foreign aid, accountability

Suggested Citation

Winters, Matthew S., Targeting, Accountability and Capture in Development Projects (January 1, 2013). Forthcoming in 2014 in International Studies Quarterly, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1643381 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1643381

Matthew S. Winters (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Political Science ( email )

702 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/mswinters1/home

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

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