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The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1007/s11558-018-9321-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
An early draft of this paper circulated under the title “Bilateral versus Multilateral: Picking Policy Instruments.”
We received valuable feedback from participants in the Swiss Network for International Studies Workshop on the Politics of Informal Governance (organized by Oliver Westerwinter), PEIO IX, AEL, TWIIGG, the Swarthmore Economics Department Summer Research Seminar Series, and the Economics and Politics Seminar Series at the Heidelberg Alfred Weber Institute, University of Heidelberg.
Do U.S. presidential administrations exert more informal influence over international financial institutions when they face an uncooperative Congress and thus have less control over bilateral aid? Reexamining four empirical studies of the World Bank, we demonstrate that U.S. informal influence is driven by years with divided U.S. government. This provides a richer picture of when and why the U.S. exerts influence in multilateral settings and an alternate explanation to persistent questions about the role of international organizations in the international political economy.
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