World bank

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World Bank
World Bank


World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC
Organization type UN specialized agency
Abbreviation none
management United StatesUnited States David Malpass
Founded December 27, 1945
Headquarters Washington, DC , United States
United StatesUnited States

The World Bank ( Engl. World Bank ) referred to in the broad sense in the American US capital Washington, DC is moved World Bank Group , a multinational development bank . The original purpose of the World Bank Group was to finance the reconstruction of the states devastated by World War II .

The World Bank Group comprises the following five organizations , each with their own legal personality :

The organizations of the World Bank Group are linked by administrative ties and by a common president (in the case of ICSID as chairman of the board of directors ).

Differentiation from the IMF

The World Bank should not be confused with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), even if both institutions were founded at the same time and are based in close proximity. In simple terms, it can be said that the World Bank Group provides financing instruments for long-term development and expansion projects in the real economy. In contrast, the IMF provides bridge financing for countries that - often due to balance of payments difficulties - have a need for foreign currency. The activity of the IMF is therefore more focused on the financial sector than on the financing of the real economy. The distinction has lost some of its weight recently, however, as the IMF has also begun to provide credit lines (so-called facilities) that are tailored to the development policy goals of poorer countries.

Common main task

The common core task of these institutions is to promote the economic development of less developed member states through financial aid, advice and technical assistance and thus to contribute to the implementation of the international development goals (above all the proportion of the poor in the world population to halve by 2015 to help reduce). They also act as a catalyst for third party support. The World Bank Group made US $ 38.2 billion in loans, grants, equity, investments and guarantees to its member states and private investors in fiscal 2008.

This is primarily done by granting long-term loans at near-market conditions (IBRD) or interest-free, long-term loans (IDA) for investment projects , comprehensive reform programs and technical assistance, and increasingly also by promoting private sector development through participation in companies (IFC) and through the assumption of guarantees (MIGA).

Development committee

1974 who Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the IMF at the request of developing countries a joint ministerial committee used on the transfer of financial resources to developing countries - the Development Committee ( Development Committee , DC ). The DC has 24 members, representing the entire membership of the World Bank Group and the IMF, and meets twice a year. Its task is to advise the boards of governors of the Bank and the IMF on important development issues and on the resources required for economic and social development in developing countries . Over time, the DC has also included trade and global environmental issues in its deliberations.

World development report

The World Bank published annually the World Development Report ( World Development Report ), which is dedicated to a comprehensive and meaningful for the current development discussion. In its detailed analyzes, it not only summarizes the status of the discussion, but above all provides decisive impetus and takes important steps forward in the international debate on development. Other central World Bank reports are Global Economic Prospects , Global Development Finance and Doing Business .

Human Capital Project

In addition to the World Development Report, a Human Capital Index has been calculated since 2019 , which attempts to measure the impact of activities in the areas of education and health using relatively simple indicators. The duration of school attendance, the proportion of children with disabilities and child mortality are determined. These indicators are correlated with the gross national product and compared with regard to their presumed effects on the future productivity of the workforce. Not implausible is the finding that the most important thing for the future productivity of the next generation is the survival of children in the first five years of life. In second place is the (quality-adjusted) length of school attendance, in third place is a low proportion of children with disabilities. Singapore is at the forefront, especially when it comes to school attendance. a. Japan and South Korea . Most African countries are at the bottom of the table. Less than half of secondary school students in developing countries achieve the PiSA reference values , in Singapore it is 98 percent.

Promotion of privatization

The Private Sector Development (PSD) is promoting a strategy of the World Bank, the private sector development in developing countries. PSD is binding for all parts of the World Bank and all other strategies must be coordinated with it. The granting of loans is also linked to fundamental reforms as defined by the PSD. This includes the promotion of private construction of infrastructure. This is justified by the fact that the public sector frequently gives preference to public companies , which prevents competition (see structural adjustment programs ).

Structure and legal status

Like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the IBRD, IDA and IFC are specialized agencies of the United Nations . Members of the IBRD can only be states that already belong to the IMF and have assumed all associated obligations. Membership in the IBRD is, in turn, a prerequisite for joining the IDA, IFC, MIGA and ICSID.

The highest body of the IBRD (as with IFC, IDA and MIGA) is the Board of Governors , for which each member state appoints a governor (usually the Minister of Economics or Finance ) and a deputy. The IBRD, IDA and IFC Executive Board has consisted of 25 people since November 2010; Six of them are appointed by the members with the highest capital shares (including Germany), the remaining 19 are elected every two years by the governors of other member states. With the exception of Saudi Arabia , which is represented by its own executive director, the other elected directors each represent several member states (constituencies). The executive directors take care of the day-to-day business on behalf of their governors.

Executive Directors and Alternates


  • Matthew McGuire (USA)
  • Kazuhiko Koguchi, Kenichi Nishikata (Japan)
  • Jürgen Zattler, Claus-Michael Happe (Germany)
  • Herve De Villeroche (France)
  • Melanie Robinson (United Kingdom)

Elected by states

  • Vadim Grishin, Eugene Miagkov (Russia)
  • Abdulrahman M. Almofadhi, Ibrahim Alturki (Saudi Arabia)
  • Shaolin Yang, Ciyong Zou (China)

Elected by constituencies

  • Gino Alzetta (Belgium and others)
  • Rudolf Treffers, Tamara Solyanyik (Netherlands, Ukraine and others)
  • Marta Garcia (Spain and others)
  • Marie-Lucie Morin, Kelvin Dalrymple (Canada, Barbados and others)
  • Rogerio Studart, Vishnu Dhanpaul (Brazil, Trinidad / Tobago and others)
  • Piero Cipollone, Nuno Mota Pinto (Italy, Portugal and others)
  • James Hagan, Do-Hyeong Kim (Australia, Korea and others)
  • Pulok Chatterji, Kazi Aminul Islam (India, Bangladesh and others)
  • Satu Santala, Jens Haarlov (Sweden, Denmark and others)
  • Werner Gruber, Michal Krupinski (Switzerland, Poland and others)
  • Javed Talat, Sid Ahmed Dib (Pakistan, Algeria and others)
  • Merza H. Hasan, Ayman el-Qaffas (Kuwait, Egypt)
  • Hekinus Manao, Irfa Ampri (Indonesia and others)
  • Felix Alberto Camarasa, Varinia Daza Foronda (Argentina, Bolivia and others)
  • Renosi Mokate (South Africa and others)
  • Agapito Mendes Dias, Mohamed Sikieh Kayad (São Tomé and Príncipe, Djibouti and others)
  • Hassan Ahmed Taha, Denny H. Kalyalya (Sudan, Zambia and others)

The President conducts the day-to-day business in accordance with the resolutions of the Board of Directors. He is elected by the Executive Directors for a five-year term and may not be either the Governor or the Executive Director. He chairs the board of directors (without voting rights, except in the event of a tie) and heads the staff (the World Bank has around 10,000 employees). President of the IBRD and its sister companies IDA and MIGA was last from 2005 to 2007 the American Paul Wolfowitz , since June 2007 Robert Zoellick , and now from July 1, 2012 Jim Yong Kim . The IFC and MIGA have organizational peculiarities insofar as they have their own staff, separate from the IBRD and IDA, and their own executive vice-president.

When voting in the Board of Governors and the Board of Directors, the weight of the votes of the individual country is essentially based on the amount of its capital share. As with the IMF, all members - beyond a certain number of basic votes - have voting rights according to their financial participation.

Previous presidents of the World Bank Group

For a long time (until 2007) it was common practice for the US to appoint the President of the World Bank and Europe to appoint the Chairman of the International Monetary Fund. Here is a list of the presidents with their respective terms of office:

president Country from to
Eugene Meyer United StatesUnited States United States 1946 1946
John Jay McCloy United StatesUnited States United States 1947 1949
Eugene Robert Black United StatesUnited States United States 1949 1962
George D. Woods United StatesUnited States United States 1963 1968
Robert S. McNamara United StatesUnited States United States 1968 1981
Alden W. Clausen United StatesUnited States United States 1981 1986
Barber B. Conable United StatesUnited States United States 1986 1991
Lewis T. Preston United StatesUnited States United States 1991 1995
James David Wolfensohn AustraliaAustralia Australia / United States
United StatesUnited States 
1995 2005
Paul Wolfowitz United StatesUnited States United States 2005 2007
Robert Zoellick United StatesUnited States United States 2007 2012
Jim Yong Kim Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea / United States
United StatesUnited States 
2012 2019
Kristalina Georgieva BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria 2019 (provisional)
David Malpass United StatesUnited States United States 2019 officiating

List of chief economists

president Country from to
Hollis Chenery United StatesUnited States United States 1972 1982
Anne O. Krueger United StatesUnited States United States 1982 1986
Stanley Fischer United StatesUnited States United States 1988 1990
Lawrence Summers United StatesUnited States United States 1991 1993
Michael Bruno IsraelIsrael Israel 1993 1996
Joseph E. Stiglitz United StatesUnited States United States 1997 2000
Nicholas Stern United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 2000 2003
François Bourguignon FranceFrance France 2003 2007
Justin Yifu Lin China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 2008 2012
Kaushik Basu IndiaIndia India 2012 2016
Paul Romer United StatesUnited States United States 2016 2018
Pinelopi Goldberg GreeceGreece Greece / United States
United StatesUnited States 
2018 officiating

Distribution of votes and reform of the majority structure

The voting rights are distributed according to share ownership. In 2010 the distribution was rebalanced, whereby emerging markets, v. a. China gained influence. The countries that have made significant gains under the reform named “Voice Reform - Phase 2” are South Korea , Turkey , Mexico , Singapore , Greece , Brazil , India and Spain . Most of the industrialized countries' voting share was reduced, while Nigeria , USA , Russia and Saudi Arabia remained unchanged. In 2019 the USA (15.48%) had the largest share of the vote , followed by Japan (7.79%), China (4.80%), Germany (4.09%), the United Kingdom (3.81% ) and France (3.81%).

Member States

189 countries belong to the World Bank group .

Criticism and controversy

The World Bank has long been criticized by non-governmental organizations such as the NGOs, Survival International , and various economists such as Henry Hazlitt and Ludwig von Mises , including its former chief economist and Nobel laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz . Henry Hazlitt argued that the World Bank, along with the monetary system of which it is part, promotes global inflation and "a world in which international trade is dominated by states". Stiglitz said that the reform policy advocated by the bank, oriented towards a free market, damages economic development in many ways if it is implemented badly or too quickly (in the form of " shock therapy "), in the wrong order or in weak, uncompetitive economic areas would.

Frequent criticism is made of the way the World Bank is run. Although the bank represents 189 countries, it is led by a small number of countries. These countries (which also fund most of their budgets) elect the presidents and senior managers of the organization so that their interests dominate the bank. The bank was even accused of saying that the unequal distribution of voting rights in favor of Western countries and the bank's role in developing countries would make it comparable to the Development Bank of Southern Africa during the apartheid regime , and thus a pillar of "global apartheid".

In the 1990s the World Bank and the IMF propagated the “ Washington Consensus ”, a bundle of economic policy measures that included deregulation and market liberalization, privatization and the withdrawal of the state. Although intended to promote economic development, the Washington Consensus has been criticized for neglecting fairness, employment policies and the actual implementation of reforms. Joseph Stiglitz believed that the consensus attaches too much importance to the growth of the gross domestic product and pays too little attention to the sustainability of this growth or to whether it also contributes to the increase in the standard of living.

One of the biggest criticisms of the World Bank relates to the effects of the structural adjustment programs it and the International Monetary Fund are demanding of poor countries . In some countries, especially in the sub-Saharan region , these measures led to a decline in economic growth and higher inflation. Since poverty reduction was not a goal of the programs, the living conditions of the poor worsened in many cases as a result of the reduction in social spending and the increase in food prices.

In 2009, of the World Bank's 1,000+ US employees, only four were African American. Management replied to the charge that the World Bank was practicing racial discrimination that there simply weren't enough qualified African-Americans. As early as 1998, an internal committee of inquiry had determined: “There is racist discrimination in our facility.” In addition, Africans and Afro-Americans were “ ghettoized ” in a separate building .

In December 2019, David Malpass , World Bank President since April 2019, and US President Donald Trump criticized the fact that the PR China, the second largest economy in the world, received loans from the World Bank - for example, around 1.4 billion in 2019 and 2 in 2017, 4 billion US dollars - although their task is to fight poverty.

See also


  • Axel Dreher: The lending of the IMF and the World Bank: causes and effects from a political-economic point of view . wvb Berlin, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-936846-54-5 .
  • Twele, Cord: The development policy of the World Bank Group against the background of the debt crisis in the »Third World« since the early 1980s. Frankfurt am Main 1995.
  • Cobb, John B. Jr .: The earthist challenge to economism - a theological critique of the World Bank . St. Martin's Press, New York 1999, ISBN 0-312-21838-9 .

Web links

Commons : World Bank  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  3. The World Bank Group at a Glance - Information pages of the German office at the World Bank.
  4. Ezra Bennathan: Wrestling with the Beast: Thirty Years of Development Economics.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives ) Economic and Political Weekly December 5, 2009.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  5. ^ The Human Capital Project. World Bank, Washington, DC 2018 Online (PDF).
  6. The Human Capital Project, 2018, p. 23.
  7. The Human Capital Project, 2018, p. 21 f.
  8. List of the 25 Executive Directors and their deputies (pdf; 31 kB) (as of January 14, 2017) on
  9. ^ Past Presidents , Current President , World Bank
  10. (PDF; 20 kB)
  11. China given more influence in World Bank ( Memento from June 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), RTHK, April 26, 2010
  13. Who We Are. The World Bank Group, accessed March 22, 2019 .
  14. ^ Stiglitz, Joseph E .: The Roaring Nineties: A New History of the World's Most Prosperous Decade . WW Norton & Company, New York, NY 2003, ISBN 978-0-39-305852-9 .
  15. ^ A b Stiglitz, Joseph E .: Globalization and Its Discontents . WW Norton & Company, New York, NY 2003, ISBN 978-0-39-332439-6 .
  16. ^ A b Stiglitz, Joseph E .: Making Globalization Work . WW Norton & Company, New York, NY 2007, ISBN 978-0-39-333028-1 .
  17. ^ Hazlitt, Henry: From Bretton Woods to World Inflation: A Study of the Causes and Consequences . Regnery Publishing, Washington, DC 1984, ISBN 978-0-89-526617-0 .
  18. Jane Schneider: World Markets: Anthropological Perspectives . In: Jeremy MacClancy (Ed.): Exotic No More: Anthropology on the Front Lines . University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL 2002, ISBN 978-0-226-50013-3 .
  19. Woods, Ngaire: The Globalizers: The IMF, the World Bank, and Their Borrowers . Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY 2007, ISBN 978-0-80-147420-0 .
  20. ^ Alexander, Titus: Unraveling Global Apartheid: An Overview of World Politics . Polity, Cambridge, UK 1996, ISBN 978-0-74-561352-9 .
  21. ^ David Graeber: Direct Action. An ethnography . AK Press , ISBN 978-1-904859-79-6 , pp. 442-443 .
  22. ^ Barend A. deVries: The World Bank's Focus on Poverty . In: Jo Marie Griesgraber and Bernhard G. Gunter (Eds.): The World Bank: Lending on a Global Scale . Pluto Press, London, UK 1996, ISBN 978-0-7453-1049-7 .
  23. ^ Jesse Jackson : Apartheid Avenue Two Block From White House , CounterPunch , July 15, 2014.
  24. USA: Donald Trump wants to prevent World Bank loans from being granted to China. In: SPIEGEL ONLINE. December 7, 2019, accessed December 7, 2019 .

Coordinates: 38 ° 53 '56 "  N , 77 ° 2' 33"  W.