What makes the World Bank so influential—its money or its ideas?

By Bradley Parks, Ani Harutyunyan, Matt DiLorenzo

We are living in an era of resurgent nationalism and rising skepticism about the value of multilateral institutions. Prior to his appointment as the president of the World Bank, David Malpass told the U.S. Congress that the principal beneficiaries of the World Bank were “the people who fly in on a first-class ticket to give advice to governments.”

China’s new role as a financier of first resort for many low-income and middle-income countries has also raised fundamental questions about the raison d’être of multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank (see examples here,

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