Anastassia V. Obydenkova, Vinícius G. Rodrigues Vieira | International Studies Quarterly
Which limitations does the hegemon face when exerting financial statecraft through multilateral institutions? Recent studies indicate that intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) that are tools of collective financial statecraft sponsored by the United States, like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, lead developing states to align with Washington in the United Nations (UN). The same effect is verified in the case of US bilateral aid. Little, however, has been discussed about the effect of American-sponsored regional development banks (RDBs) in the same context. RDBs are IGOs with unique characteristics as each of them covers a region of the world and relies on resources from developed sponsors and developing borrowing members alike. In this article we aim to fill this gap in the debates on economic and financial statecraft by demonstrating through tobit models that the higher the material capabilities of a borrowing state that takes loans, the less likely it is to align with the United States at the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Membership of all RDBs but the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) yields the same effect. Results indicate the need to develop further research on RDBs to assess whether they create incentives for challenging the hegemon.