Choosing international organizations: when do states and the World Bank collaborate on environmental projects?

Bayer, P. , Marcoux, C. and Urpelainen, J. (2014) Choosing international organizations: when do states and the World Bank collaborate on environmental projects? Review of International Organizations, 9(4), pp. 413-440. (doi: 10.1007/s11558-013-9184-y)

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While international cooperation research emphasizes institutional design, states mostly interact with existing organizations. How do states choose organizations for cooperation? We develop a theory of agency choice for development projects, emphasizing the importance of domestic institutions, the scope of cooperation, and the resources of the implementing agency. If states are to cooperate with funding agencies that have abundant resources, such as the World Bank, they must accept more stringent conditions on project implementation. We argue states accept the stringent conditions that resourceful organizations demand if the public goods from project implementation are highly valuable. Empirically, this is the case for democratic states, large projects, and projects that produce national instead of global public goods. We test this theory using data on 2,882 Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects, 1991–2011. The GEF offers an ideal case because various implementing agencies are responsible for the actual projects. States implement projects in collaboration with the World Bank, which has the most expertise and resources among the GEF’s implementing agencies, if their regime type is democracy, the project size is large, and the benefits are primarily national. Qualitative evidence sheds light on causal mechanisms.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bayer, Professor Patrick
Authors: Bayer, P., Marcoux, C., and Urpelainen, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Review of International Organizations
ISSN (Online):1559-744X
Published Online:04 January 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Springer International Publishing
First Published:First published in Review of International Organizations 9(4):413-440
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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