The World Bank – Definition

Cite this article as:"The World Bank – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated May 13, 2019, last accessed December 4, 2020,


The World Bank Definition

The World Bank is an organization that emanated from the Bretton Woods agreement to solve financial problems of many countries. It is an international financial institution that is focused on enhancing growth and prosperity in the nations of the world through the reduction of poverty.

The World Bank stimulate the economic development of developing nations by providing them with adequate financing, advice and research. This organization combats poverty in developing countries by offering developmental and economic assistance. The world Bank specifically focuses on both middle and poor – income countries with the goal of boosting shared prosperity in these countries.

international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA).

A Little More on What is the The World Bank

The World Bank was created in 1944, is headquarters is located in Washington DC.

The World Bank is not just a mere organization but a financial institution of international value and global relevance. This institution provides financial aids in terms of loans for countries, these loans are for capital projects. Aside from  funds, the World Bank also offer technical advice and research assistance to developing countries in the world.

The World Bank partners with middle-income and low-income countries in order to stimulate economic development and end poverty in these regions of the world. With over 10,000 employees and more than 120 offices worldwide, the World Bank has been able to drive significant economic growth.

Although, the World Bank started has a single institution with few employees, it has significantly expanded over the past 60 years. Incorporated into the structure of the World Bank is a group of five uniquely structured cooperative institutions. These organizations are;

  • The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) which offers debt financing to middle-income countries.
  • The International Development Association (IDA) which offer interest-free loans to developing countries.
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) provides investment financing and advice to private sectors of developing economies.
  • The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) which enhance foreign investment in poor/middle-income countries.
  • The Center for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) which settles investment disputes.

The World Bank provides countries of the world with credits, zero-interest loans, low-interest loans, and grants. The World Bank has two main goals, the first is eradicate world poverty and the second is to increase world prosperity. The World Bank aims to achieve these goals by 2030, the first will be achieved by decreasing the number of people surviving in a daily amount which is below $1.90. The second goal on the other hand will be achieved by increasing income growth in the world’s population. Also, to achieve these goals, the World Bank offers financial aids, developmental advice and research ideas to developing nations.

References for The World Bank

Academic Research on The World Bank

Globalisation of poverty: impacts of IMF and World Bank reforms, Chossudovsky, M. (1999). Humanist in Canada, (129), 34-5.

What should the World Bank think about the Washington Consensus?, Williamson, J. (2000). The World Bank Research Observer, 15(2), 251-264.

Investing in development: Lessons of World Bank experience, Baum, W. C., & Tolbert, S. M. (1985). New York: Oxford University Press.

Delegation to international organizations: Agency theory and World Bank environmental reform, Nielson, D. L., & Tierney, M. J. (2003). International organization, 57(2), 241-276.

Governance, the World Bank and liberal theory, Williams, D., & Young, T. (1994). Political Studies, 42(1), 84-100.

Attacking Rural Poverty: How Nonformal Education Can Help. A Research Report for the World Bank Prepared by the International Council for Educational …, Coombs, P. H., & Ahmed, M. (1974).

Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2008. Estimates developed by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank, World Health Organization. (2010).

Good governance and aid effectiveness: The World Bank and conditionality, Santiso, C. (2001). The Georgetown public policy review, 7(1), 1-22.

Public enterprise reform: Privatization and the World Bank, Nellis, J., & Kikeri, S. (1989). World Development, 17(5), 659-672.

Exploring social capital debates at the World Bank, Bebbington, A., Guggenheim, S., Olson, E., & Woolcock, M. (2004). Journal of Development Studies, 40(5), 33-64.

Showdown at the World bank, Wade, R. (2001). New Left Review, 7, 124.

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