Asian Development Bank – Definition

Cite this article as:"Asian Development Bank – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated February 24, 2020, last accessed October 26, 2020,


Asian Development Bank Definition

The Asian Development Bank was founded on 19 December 1966, with the aim of fostering economic development and cooperation among countries in the Asian and Pacific Region.

ADB has its headquarters in Manila, Philippines, it is an organization prides itself as a social development organization. ADB has executed numerous projects since its establishment including the provision of financial aid for rural development and food production in the member countries. ADB raises capital for its projects through the contributions of member countries and also the international bond markets.

A Little More on What is the Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank promotes sustainable growth and development in the Asian and Pacific Region. It fosters economic cooperation and integration among member countries. ABD also offers financial assistance to member countries through loans, grants, technical aid and other forms of aid.

The Asian Development Bank generates capital through various means such as retained earnings on lending offered to member countries, trading of bonds in the international bond markets and others.

Shareholders of the Asian Development Bank

The United States and Japan are the two largest shareholders of the Asian Development Bank. There are other shareholders of this organization in addition to the two giants. Naturally, member countries of ABD are shareholders in the organization. Members countries are countries from the Asian and Pacific Region.

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Academic research on “Asian Development Bank”

Donor influence in multilateral development banks: The case of the Asian Development Bank, Kilby, C. (2006). Donor influence in multilateral development banks: The case of the Asian Development Bank. The Review of International Organizations1(2), 173-195. This paper explores the influence of Japan and the United States over the geographic distribution of Asian Development Bank funds. Estimation using panel data for less developed Asian countries from 1968 to 2002 suggests significant donor influence with inconsistent weight placed on humanitarian criteria given limited funding for the region’s largest countries, China and India. Comparing the results with research on World Bank loan allocation suggests donor interests are relatively more important in the ADB. This finding justifies the existence of the ADB on political grounds but calls into question its relative merits on economic grounds.

Inclusive growth and inclusive development: a review and synthesis of Asian Development Bank literature, Rauniyar, G., & Kanbur, R. (2010). Inclusive growth and inclusive development: a review and synthesis of Asian Development Bank literature. Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy15(4), 455-469. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has relatively few but well-founded and relevant studies, reports and publications on inclusive growth, inclusive development, or inclusive social development. This paper seeks to summarize the knowledge products obtained from existing ADB studies, statements and initiatives. It draws from the research and analytic work undertaken in the recent years by ADB’s Economics and Research Department, the East Asia Regional Department and the Operations Evaluation Department, and other sources. One of the findings is that while there is no agreed and common definition of inclusive growth or inclusive development, the term is understood to refer to ‘growth coupled with equal opportunities’, and consisting of economic, social and institutional dimensions. Among the major recommendations of the ADB literature are that efforts to achieve inclusive growth and inclusive development should involve a combination of mutually reinforcing measures including: (1) promoting efficient and sustainable economic growth, (2) ensuring a level political playing field and (3) strengthening capacities and providing for social safety nets.

Globalisation, regionalisation and local voices: The Asian Development Bank and rescaled politics of environment in the Mekong region, Hirsch, P. (2001). Globalisation, regionalisation and local voices: The Asian Development Bank and rescaled politics of environment in the Mekong region. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography22(3), 237-251. Globalisation is manifested in the Mekong Region both through processes and discourses that reflect the ideology of a borderless world allowing easy passage of capital and commodities, and through resistance to such processes in an increasingly transnationalised civil society movement. However, more immediately significant supranational integrative agendas take the form of regionalisation, a process that has received less attention but which raises analogous concerns of re‐scaled governance. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been a catalysing force for regionalisation amidst a host of regional processes and initiatives; as such it has found itself the object of critique as an institution and through the specific projects it has supported that have impacted on local communities and ecosystems. Meanwhile, local and NGO voices associated with the emergence of a vibrant civil society in Thailand and nascent civil society responses in neighbouring countries have challenged claims on resources made in the name of national development and regional integration. This paper considers some key issues of re‐scaling resource and environmental politics in the Mekong Region, and the extent to which challenges have been recast from national to regional development agendas. Politics of environment are shown to exist as a general rather than exceptional response to the region’s development direction, and it is suggested that equitable and sustainable development increasingly needs to address simultaneously the re‐scaling and reconfigurations of power in both environmental politics and the “infrapolitics” of environment. The paper is illustrated with case studies of dams in Laos and Thailand.

Informal influence in the Asian development bank, Kilby, C. (2011). Informal influence in the Asian development bank. The Review of International Organizations6(3-4), 223. Through case studies and empirical analysis, scholars have uncovered convincing evidence that individual donors influence lending decisions of international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Less clear are the mechanisms by which donors exert influence. Potential mechanisms are either formal or informal. Formal influence is through official decisions of the board of executive directors while informal influence covers all other channels. This paper explores the role of informal influence at the Asian Development Bank by examining the flow of funds after loans are approved. Controlling for commitments (loan approvals), are subsequent disbursements linked to the interests of the key shareholders, Japan and the U.S.? I compare these findings with results for the World Bank and consider implications for institutional reforms

Japan and the Asian Development Bank, Wan, M. (1995). Japan and the Asian Development Bank. Pacific Affairs, 509-528. Japan’s financial contributing power explains its key role in the ADB and its interest in the Bank as a symbol of its status in the world. However, even though Japan has become more powerful in the ADB since 1972, it has also become less concerned about its tangible and immediate economic gains from the Bank. This is because Japan’s participation in the ADB has broadened its definition of interests due to a close institutional linkage between the ADB and the Ministry of Finance. This linkage has made Japanese officials identify their interests with those of the ADB. The paper shows that the existence of a strong domestic agency with an entrenched institutional connection with an international institution facilitates cooperation from a non-hegemon state in the institution.

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