Always Vote for Principle, Though You May Vote Alone: American Political Support for Multilateral Development Loans, 2004-2011
23 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 2, 2013
What motivates the United States when it casts votes in international organizations? Is there variation in American voting behavior from one IO to another? Answers to these questions have long suffered from the opaque manner by which many international organizations operate and the recalcitrance of U.S. officials to publicly disclose U.S. voting behavior. In this paper, we test several hypotheses regarding how the United States takes a position on loan decisions in the multilateral development banks (MDBs). Our quantitative study uses U.S. Treasury data for U.S. positions on loan decisions from 2004-2011 in the World Bank Group (IBRD, IDA, IFC, and IGA), the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, Global Environment Facility, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Our results indicate bilateral trade relations, recipient need, and regime type are robustly related to U.S. support. Other factors, such as whether a recipient is a U.S. coalition partner in Iraq or Afghanistan, were not found to be significant factors.
Keywords: World Bank, regional development banks, GEF, IFAD, voting, foreign aid
JEL Classification: F33, F53, F55, F59
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation