International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper reviews the World Bank lending for structural adjustment. The World Bank has always stressed the need to use limited investable resources efficiently. It has attempted to identify investment priorities in recipient countries and lent for projects that promised a high rate of return. The Bank’s Operational Manual defines structural adjustment lending as nonproject lending to support programs of policy and institutional change necessary to modify the structure of an economy so that it can maintain both its growth rate and the viability of its balance of payments in the medium term.
This paper develops a growth model with specialized goods where inefficient and corrupt bureaucracies interact with the provision of public investment services in affecting the productivity of private capital, specialization, and growth. The model provides potential explanations for the contradictory empirical results on the effects of public investment found in the literature as well as for the role of the quality of public infrastructure investment in creating a gap between rich and poor countries. From a policy perspective, the paper suggests that the link between public investment and growth depends critically on the quality and efficiency of public capital.