Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics 2019 Multilateralism: Past, Present, and Future

In July 1944, representatives from 44 countries met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to establish a system of global cooperation to foster global economic growth and international trade and overcome the perceived problems of the interwar period (protectionism, currency wars, unstable exchange rates, among others). The conference led to the establishment of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the precursor of the World Trade Organization. Over these 75 years, this system of global cooperation has evolved, as emerging economies have gained power and new issues, such as climate change, have arisen. Meanwhile, a backlash against globalization has led to widespread political movements hostile to economic integration and existing political arrangements, questioning global commitments to international cooperation and its institutions. The ABCDE Organizing Committee is issuing a call for innovative papers that examine how global public goods and cross-country spillovers influence multilateralism or will shape multilateralism in the years to come; and how cooperative arrangements can affect the evolution of these global public goods and spillovers. Possible topics in this area are:

  1. Trade
  2. Climate Change
  3. Pandemics
  4. Financial Stability, Capital Flows and Exchange Rates
  5. Migration
  6. Data Collection
  7. Conflict

Of interest also are papers on the history of Bretton Woods, its institutions, and governing arrangements. Papers that do not fit into these categories, but are related to the main conference theme, are also welcome.

The selected papers will be presented in the main sessions of the conference.

Those interested should submit a complete paper (proposals will not be accepted) by March 24, 2019, 11:59 pm EST through the ABCDE website.

The Organizing Committee will evaluate all papers in terms of originality, analytical rigor, and policy relevance. Authors of accepted proposals will be contacted by April 15, 2019. A final draft will be required by May 26, 2019.

For authors of selected papers, travel and accommodation expenses for the conference will be covered. Additional information on the overall conference program will be posted on this website over the coming months. The ABCDE secretariat can be contacted via email at

Organizing Committee:

  • Shanta Devarajan (World Bank, Chair)
  • Asli Demirguc-Kunt (World Bank)
  • Eric Edmonds (Dartmouth College and WBER Editor)
  • Penny Goldberg (Yale University and World Bank)
  • Devesh Kapur (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Peter Lanjouw (VU University Amsterdam and WBRO Editor)
  • Nina Pavcnik (Dartmouth College and WBER Editor)
  • Michael Toman (World Bank)

For more information: