What is the World Bank Good For? Global Public Goods and Global Institutions

16 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017

See all articles by Ravi Kanbur

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 2017

Abstract

The World Bank is in the doldrums, or worse. The Global Public Goods (GPGs) argument is often put forward as a way of reviving and even rescuing an institution whose financial base to support conventional sovereign loans is receding sharply relative to needs and competition from other sources. The World Bank does have certain advantages as an institution, which the global community could use to address GPG issues. It has technical excellence and convening power to help build consensus on a range of GPG issues, although this cannot be fully realized without radical reform of its governance structures. It has experience with managing concessional and grant resources, which will be central to financing GPG mechanisms. And it also has experience with country operations to implement the country specific dimensions of GPG mechanisms. That is what the World Bank is good for now, three quarters of a century after its founding.

Suggested Citation

Kanbur, Ravi, What is the World Bank Good For? Global Public Goods and Global Institutions (June 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12090. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2988848

Ravi Kanbur (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.kanbur.dyson.cornell.edu

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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