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【NSE Development Financing Research Report No.1】The Inaugural New Structural Economics (NSE) Development Financing Research Report Launched


"Mapping Development Finance Institutions Worldwide: Definitions, Rationale and Varieties" was officially launched at Peking University on May 28, 2019. This work was jointly accomplished by Prof. Jiajun Xu, Dr. Xiaomeng Ren and Xinyue Wu from the Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University (INSE). The report is based on the firsthand data collection of the “Global Development Finance Institutions Survey” project. It is also the first report of the“New Structural Economics Development Financing Research Report Series”.


Development finance institutions (DFIs) have played an important role in practice, but there has been limited research. One major reason behind the research gap is the lack of data. "Mapping Development Finance Institutions Worldwide: Definitions, Rationale and Varieties" report aims to fill the gap by building the first comprehensive database on DFIs worldwide. A list of more than 500 worldwide DFIs has been published in the report for the first time.


The report begins with the recent renaissance of DFIs worldwide and elaborates on the reasons why we need DFIs. It is the first time to give the definition and identification methods of DFIs, and provide a panoramic description of current DFIs worldwide. An institution is qualified as a DFI, if it (a) is a legally independent and self-sustaining financial institution, (b) pursues public policy objectives, and (c) enjoys government support. The study finds that DFIs are mainly at the national level, and most of them take the general development as their official mission. Interestingly, the report discovers that national DFIs have divergent sectoral focus at different development stages, with high-income countries focusing on trade and middle-income countries focusing on infrastructure. Last but not least, it reveals that the number of development finance institutions presents an inverted U-shaped across different stages of development – on average middle-income countries have more DFIs than low-income and high-income countries.


In particular, in order to ensure the comprehensiveness of the database, more than 50 research assistants proficient in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages have joined the project for the past two years. This has effectively overcome the language barriers, making the birth of this report feasible. In addition, the report has benefited a lot from constructive peer reviews from a number of international development finance practitioners and experts.


Moving forward, we plan to rely on publicly available official information and questionnaire surveys to collect data in a systematic manner on DFIs’ ownership structures, funding sources, financial instruments, products and services, business models, operation portfolios, financial performance, governance and supervision, monitoring, evaluation, financial regulation, and their weight in national financial systems. Particularly, we plan to systematically collect information on DFIs that closed down or were commercialized in the past. Future research reports or papers will also be released through the “New Structural Economics Development Financing Research Report Series”. Finally, we warmly welcome all colleagues who are interested in development finance research to join hands together to advance our knowledge about DFIs in an effort to realize their full potential for promoting economic structural transformation and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.



Read  or download the report:

Mapping Development Finance Institutions Worldwide: Definitions, Rationale and Varieties