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When Billions Meet Trillions: Impact Investing and Shadow Banking in Pakistan

Jafri, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4457-5098 (2019). When Billions Meet Trillions: Impact Investing and Shadow Banking in Pakistan. Review of International Political Economy, 26(3), pp. 520-544. doi: 10.1080/09692290.2019.1608842


This article argues that impact investing is a means to promote shadow banking. This is reflected in the rise of impact investing in Pakistan, particularly its predilection for inclusive finance. Two contentions are made: one, that impact investors fill the void in enterprise finance created by regulatory constraints on banks, and two, that impact investors accommodate the demand for yield by shepherding global capital into poor countries. These contentions augment the finance and development literature which critiques the financialized development associated with the Finance for Development (FfD) agenda construed by global institutions ostensibly for the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, of 2015 and subsequently the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, of 2030. More recently, the narrative of slogans such as Billions to Trillions and the World Bank’s Maximizing Finance for Development agenda, have drawn criticism because they advance shadow banking. The case of Pakistan exemplifies the traction gained by impact investing as an asset class and the related imperative to measure and evaluate outcomes. The resultant focus on base-of-pyramid initiatives such as inclusive finance is thus a corollary of the financialization of development and the shifts and transformations in development initiatives that incorporate private and philanthropic or ‘patient’ capital.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in, Review of International Political Economy, available online:
Publisher Keywords: Development; financialization; impact investing; Pakistan; financial inclusion; shadow banking
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
Text - Accepted Version
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