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CIAO Focus, May 2015: The World Bank in an Era of Globalization and Emerging Markets

Over its history, the [World] Bank has made many efforts to adapt, re-invent and rationalize its role, especially given the development of the global financial markets. The complementarity between private and public global finance for development has been seen to stem from two main sources. First, the Bank can lend for things the private sector finds unattractive—projects with high social returns but low private returns. Second, the Bank can support private sector lending such as through information and credit guarantees, leveraging its own resources. The Bank’s role as a source of development knowledge underpins both sources of complementarity.

The Bank has long argued that the goals of its project lending are different to those of private financial institutions, with the Bank adopting a broader social welfare objective, emphasizing poverty reduction through equitable economic growth and delivering social services to poor people.  The rationale for the Bank’s role has rested on efficiency gains in the presence of market failures as much as on equity.

--Martin Ravallion, Center for Global Development


From the CIAO Database:

The World Bank: Why It Is Still Needed and Why It Still Disappoints

Rethinking the Financial Design of the World Bank

World Bank (ABCs of the IFIs Brief)

The World Bank and the Emerging World Order Adjusting to multipolarity at the second decimal point

Merry Sisterhood or Guarded Watchfulness? Cooperation Between the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank


Outside Sources:

The World Bank

Profile: IMF and World Bank (BBC News)

World Bank IMF Documentary (Institute for Policy Studies)

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Economic Development and the Paris Climate Agreement (CFR video)



Past CIAO foci can be found in the archive.

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