Which donors, which funds? Bilateral donors' choice of multilateral funds at the World Bank

Reinsberg, B. , Michaelowa, K. and Knack, S. (2017) Which donors, which funds? Bilateral donors' choice of multilateral funds at the World Bank. International Organization, 71(4), pp. 767-802. (doi: 10.1017/S0020818317000340)

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The rapid growth of trust funds at multilateral development organizations has been widely neglected in the academic literature. We examine sovereign donors' choices among various trust fund options and contend that the choice among the different trust funds involves a fundamental trade-off: larger funds provide donors with “burden-sharing” benefits, but each donor can better assert its individual preferences in a fund with fewer other donors. The theoretical considerations yield testable hypotheses on a range of factors affecting this fundamental trade-off, most notably the area of the trust fund's intervention and donor countries' competing domestic interests. A large-N analysis of participation decisions of OECD/DAC donors in trust funds over the past decade mostly corroborates these hypotheses. In particular, ex ante preference alignment among donors as well as indicators for global activities and fragile states aid are robust determinants of participation in (large) multi-donor funds. In contrast, a donor tends to prefer a single-donor fund in areas where its national interests dominate.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reinsberg, Dr Bernhard
Authors: Reinsberg, B., Michaelowa, K., and Knack, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:International Organization
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1531-5088
Published Online:13 September 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The IO Foundation
First Published:First published in International Organization 71(4): 767-802
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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