Financing the peace: Evaluating World Bank post-conflict assistance programs

  • Thomas Edward Flores
  • Irfan NooruddinEmail author


Does World Bank aid to countries damaged by civil conflict meet its stated goals of speeding economic recovery and reducing the risk of conflict recidivism? We contend that the Bank’s success depends on its ability to bolster and signal the credibility of politicians’ commitments to peaceful politics and tailor its programs to the post-conflict environment. In the first systematic evaluation of World Bank post-conflict assistance, we estimate selection-corrected event history models of the effect of Bank programs on recovery and recurrence using an original dataset of all World Bank programs in post-conflict environments. Among key results, we find that the Bank tends to select aid recipients according to their pre-existing probability of conflict recurrence and that, once we control for this non-random selection, the Bank has no systematic effect on either conflict recurrence or economic recovery.


World Bank Post-conflict Economic recovery Conflict recurrence 

JEL Codes

O19 O22 P48 



For their comments and/or assistance, we thank: Christopher Achen, Daniel Blake, Carew Boulding, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Clark Gibson, Erica Gould, Susan Hyde, Luke Keele, David Lake, Merriam Mashatt, Eddy Malesky, Porter McConnell, Gary Milante, Nita Rudra, Meg Shannon, Heidi Sherman, Joel Simmons, and two anonymous reviewers for this journal. We are grateful to Brooke Keebaugh and Yoon-ah Oh for their research assistance. Earlier versions of this paper benefited greatly from audience feedback at the International Studies Association meetings, Chicago, IL, March 2007; the Midwest Political Science Association meetings, Chicago, IL, April 2007; the UCSD Workshop on Building Peace in Fragile States, April 2007; the US Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, May 2007; the DC Area Workshop on Contentious Politics, hosted at the University of Maryland, May 2007; and the 2007 ECPR General Meeting in Pisa, Italy, September 2007. All errors are our own.

Supplementary material

11558_2008_9039_MOESM1_ESM.txt (1 kb)
README (TXT 874 bytes)
11558_2008_9039_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (128 kb)
RIO Web Appendix (PDF 128 kb)
11558_2008_9039_MOESM3_ESM.dta (75 kb)
RIO Financing the Peace (Dataset) (DTA 74.6 kb) (12 kb)
RIO Replication Do-File (DO 11.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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