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The World Bank and telecommunications lending (English)

This paper focuses on the performance of the World Bank Group's activities in the telecommunications sector during the 1990s, using data on telecommunications rollout and reform as well as data on WBG's projects. The data suggests that World Bank projects are associated with progress in telecommunications reform and an increase in the growth rate of telecommunications networks. The data also suggests that International Finance Corporation (IFC) projects are associated with more rapid rollout of telecommunications services at the national level. This note looks at the success of WBG in fostering reform and improving teledensity in client countries on a crosscountry basis. It also evaluates the impact of projects on rollout of telecommunications services as a result of reform. WBG ICT projects are associated with significant improvements in the environment for private, competitive provision of services in developing countries. These results of the study are preliminary, using simple techniques and imperfect data. Nonetheless, it is fair to say that World Bank projects appear to be associated with progress on the telecommunications reform agenda and with faster rollout of services as a result. IFC projects also appear to be associated with faster rollout of services. While the lion's share of credit should be attributed to the governments that implement the reforms and the companies that provide the services, this evidence suggests that the WBG's project work facilitated the rapid rollout of telecommunications services to the citizens of its client countries over the last 10 years.

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Citation

Kenny, Charles Lewin, Anat

The World Bank and telecommunications lending (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/784661468326957442/The-World-Bank-and-telecommunications-lending