The World Bank: Why It Is Still Needed and Why It Still Disappoints - Working Paper 400

April 20, 2015


Do we still need the World Bank, given how much the global financial sector has expanded since the institution was founded? The paper argues that there is a continuing role for the Bank and that it is complementary to private finance. But fulfilling that role calls for a significant change in the Bank’s culture. Most fundamentally, knowledge must drive the Bank’s lending—both informing the nature of that lending and learning from it—rather than simply lending when called upon. The focus of knowledge generation should be on: (i) identifying and addressing the key country-specific constraints on rapid poverty reduction, and (ii) solving the cross-country coordination problems needed to deal with shared threats.

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