International Institutions Must Keep Politics Out of Their Data

The World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, D.C., Sept. 24, 2021 (Sipa photo by Graeme Sloan via AP Images).
The World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, D.C., Sept. 24, 2021 (Sipa photo by Graeme Sloan via AP Images).
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Editor’s note: Guest columnist Richard Gowan is filling in for Stewart Patrick, who will return Oct. 11. Can we trust international institutions to give us impartial information about the state of the world? This question is at the heart of a controversy currently roiling the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It is likely to haunt other multilateral organizations in the future, too. Kristalina Georgieva, currently the IMF’s managing director, stands accused of pressuring staff at the World Bank, where she previously occupied a senior post, to improve China’s position in an annual ranking of countries’ openness to business. […]

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