Who Controls Multilateral Development Finance?

In: Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations
Rebecca Ray Boston University Global Development Policy Center USA Boston, Massachusetts

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Multilateral development banks (MDB s) are a growing source of development finance, with nearly two trillion dollars in assets. They have developed a wide array of governance structures, with implications for the distribution of members’ control over those assets. This paper measures that power distribution in 28 MDB s using Penrose-Banzhaf and Shapley-Shubik power indices and members’ relative voting power on MDB governance boards. It uses these calculations to create a typology of MDB governance structures: creditor-led MDB s distribute power among non-borrowers, core borrower-led MDB s distribute power among a few central borrowers, and mutual aid-oriented MDB s distribute power among a wide group of borrowers. Finally, it explores the impact of the creation of two new MDB s, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, and finds that while they do not dramatically alter the global landscape they do allow significantly greater access to capital for some borrowers.

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