DP12090 | What is the World Bank Good For? Global Public Goods and Global Institutions

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06/12/2017

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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