We study the political economy of allocation decisions within a major state investment bank. Our focus is the European Investment Bank (EIB) - "The Bank of the EU" - which is the largest multilateral lending (and borrowing) institution in the world. We study the behavior of about 500 national representatives at the EIB's Board of Directors - the bank's decisive body for loan approvals - and show that a representative's appointment increases the probability that the sub-national region where she works receives a loan by about 17 percentage points. This "home-bias" effect is driven by large loans financing infrastructure projects. We discuss several pieces of evidence, which are consistent with the hypothesis that this home-bias lending may be due to favoritism, however, we cannot conclusively demonstrate this case of resource misallocation.


Political economy of international organizations, Regional favoritism, European Investment Bank, European Union