Our recent paper examining the World Bank’s COVID-19 performance garnered a response from the institution, which you can read here. We very much welcome the bank’s comments on its crisis performance in reaction to our paper. We stand by the data and conclusions of our paper, but it’s worth reviewing some of the issues under debate here and reiterating the core questions and findings from our work.
CGD Policy Blogs
The World Bank has committed to providing $104 billion in financing by next June to help developing countries deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Is that sufficient to meet the needs of developing countries facing a massive growth contraction? And will the bank actually deliver on its pledge?
In recent years, many commentators have asked if the World Bank is still relevant. We’re about to find out. To track the World Bank’s response to COVID-19, we’ve built a small interactive tool to display how much each country has received to date, and what’s currently in the pipeline for approval.
A broad array of international actors agrees that many developing countries desperately need to collect more tax revenue. But one part of the World Bank is pushing in the other direction.
While Djankov railed against our criticism of Doing Business’s ideological slant, he failed to respond whatsoever to the data-based, methodological points we raised about the Doing Business index. Whatever the ideological leanings of CGD staff, when confronted with data and code questioning our analysis, I hope we can do better than name-calling.
Following the playbook of Argentina and Greece, Tanzania has criminalized scrutiny of its economic and social data—creating a quandary for its international creditors.
Debt relief wiped away much of Africa's sovereign debt, but after a decade of growth, debt stocks are rising again. Here's a look at the numbers, and how we got here again.
Reasonable people can disagree about the usefulness of the World Bank’s country rankings. But after the Chief Economist resigned amidst a controversy about the index, the Bank has made a number of misleading claims, including defending numbers in the press that its researchers have quietly repudiated.
While Modi has celebrated India’s rapid rise in the Doing Business rankings, the World Bank’s Chief Economist recently resigned amid controversy over methodological changes. Without those changes, India’s “jump” in the rankings looks much more modest.
Chart of the Week #3: Why the World Bank Should Ditch the "Doing Business" Rankings—in One Embarrassing Chart
Last week the World Bank's Chief Economist, Paul Romer, told the Wall Street Journal the Bank had manipulated its own competitiveness rankings to undermine Chile's socialist government, and hinted Chile might not be alone—then he retracted the claim. Romer's conspiracy theories probably aren't credible, but neither are the Doing Business numbers.