As any observer of the world economy is well aware, many developing countries are in a much stronger economic position than in past decades. Commodity price booms have stocked government coﬀers, macroeconomic and ﬁscal management is much improved, and global capital ﬂows have risen immensely. For example, public debt among emerging and developing countries represented on average only 40 percent of GDP in 2010 and was expected to decline to 30 percent by 2015 (IMF 2011), while the non-OECD share of total global foreign exchange reserves rose from below 30 percent in 1990 to about 65 percent in 2010 (Reisen 2013). These trends are particularly pronounced in Latin America, which is now a largely “middle-income” region. Public debt is declining overall in Latin America, and the share of it supplied by MDBs and the IMF is also declining in relative terms (Figure 8.1). Despite these major shifts in the global economy, academic research has as
yet paid relatively little attention to how this may be impacting the operations of multilateral development banks (MDBs). The great majority of MDB studies from the main theoretical traditions – realist considerations of power
Figure 8.1 Outstanding public debt by source in Latin America Note: “MDB” includes IMF. Source: IADB Strategic Policy and Development Eﬀectiveness Oﬃce 2014.