Working Paper

Do Domestic Politics Shape U.S. Influence in the World Bank?

Date Published

Jul 1, 2016


Erasmus Kersting, Christopher Kilby



Kersting, Erasmus and Christopher Kilby. 2016. Do Domestic Politics Shape U.S. Influence in the World Bank? AidData Working Paper #28. Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Review of International Organizations.


This paper investigates whether U.S. presidential administrations choose to exert more influence over international financial institutions when they have less control over bilateral aid because of a divided U.S. government. Reexamining four empirical studies of the World Bank, we demonstrate that findings of U.S. influence are driven by the years in which the U.S. government was divided. This provides a richer picture of when and why the U.S. exerts influence in multilateral settings and an alternate explanation to persistent questions about the role of international organizations in the political economy.

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Featured Authors

Erasmus Kersting

Erasmus Kersting

Assistant Professor of Economics at Villanova University

Christopher Kilby

Christopher Kilby

Associate Professor of Economics at the Villanova School of Business at Villanova University

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