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Institutions and the “Missing Link” in the World Bank's Strategy

Institutions and the “Missing Link” in the World Bank's Strategy

Toward a Critique

Chapter:
(p.85) Chapter Four Institutions and the “Missing Link” in the World Bank's Strategy
Source:
Beyond the World Bank Agenda
Author(s):
Howard Stein
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226771656.003.0004

This chapter begins with a brief comment about the role of institutions in structural adjustment, followed by a short survey of the ideas underlying new institutional economics (NIE), the variant of institutional economics used by the Bank. It then examines the rise of NIE in the World Bank, beginning with the contribution of Oliver Williamson. The remainder of the chapter examines how NIE has been used in a series of key documents to reinforce the orthodox agenda, including arguments made to counter criticisms of neoliberal policies. The final section evaluates the ways in which institutional constructs are used in the World Development Report 2002.

Keywords:   World Bank, structural adjustment, new institutional economics, Oliver Williamson, neoliberal poilicies, World Development Report 2002

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