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Giving Aid EffectivelyThe Politics of Environmental Performance and Selectivity at Multilateral Development Banks$
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Mark T Buntaine

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190467456

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190467456.001.0001

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Addressing the Problem of Performance

Addressing the Problem of Performance

(p.46) 3 Addressing the Problem of Performance
Giving Aid Effectively

Mark T. Buntaine

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the principal-agent framework that will serve as the basis for the empirical research in the following chapters. Although a great deal of theoretical development has helped explain why international organizations do not always achieve the mandates given to them by states, less research deals with the mechanisms available to states to control international organizations after delegating authority and resources. This chapter puts forward the primary theoretical argument of the book, specifically that member states are able to manage discretion and promote selectivity when they (1) generate information about the outcomes of past decisions and (2) use that information to raise the costs of making decisions that have been unsuccessful or encourage decisions that have been successful. Both steps are difficult and are likely to arise only under certain circumstances, which form hypotheses for the following chapters.

Keywords:   principal-agent, discretion, selectivity, administrative procedure, citizen complaint mechanism, project evaluation, strategic planning, performance information, agent slack

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