Abouharb, M. Rodwan, and David Cingranelli. 2005. “When the World Bank Says Yes: Determinants of Structural Adjustment Lending,” In Gustav Ranis, James Raymond Vreeland, and Stephen Kosack (eds.) Globalization And The Nation State: The Impact of The IMF and The World Bank. Routledge. Pp 204-230.
The World Bank along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) play a crucial role in determining how much capital developing countries will receive from external sources. In recent years, scholars have also focused attention on country characteristics used by the Bank to determine which governments will receive loans and which will not. In this chapter, the factors that increased or decreased the probability of a country’s government receiving a World Bank structural adjustment loan (SAL) in the twenty-year period from 1981-2000 are identified. The governments of 161 countries of the world are included in the analysis. This is the first large-n, comparative study of the selection criteria of the World Bank. The results have both theoretical and practical importance. The results of our study indicate that states associated with a higher probability of receiving a World Bank loan during this period were in economic need, had larger populations, higher levels of government respect for workers’ rights, and had a Japanese colonial experience. States that had previously received a World Bank loan were less likely to receive another in the short term. In comparison, states associated with a lower probability of receiving a World Bank loan during this period experienced increased levels of domestic unrest. We found no evidence of bias for or against democracies or a preference of military over civilian regimes. Finally, we found no evidence that the World Bank favored countries that repressed their populations at large, were allied or had a colonial/dependent relationship with the United States or that were more globalized economically.
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