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On US politics and IMF lending

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  • Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck
  • Harr, Thomas
  • Tarp, Finn

Abstract

The political factors, which shape IMF lending to LDCs, have attracted much attention. The same goes for the role and influence of the US. However, formal modelling is scant. In this paper, we assume that the US is principal within the IMF and seeks to maximize its impact on the policy stance of debtor countries. We derive the optimal loan allocation mechanism, and test the hypothesis that the probability of an IMF loan is increasing in the amount of political concessions countries make. A political concession is defined as the distance between a country’s bliss point and its actual policy stance measured relative to the US. We propose a bliss-point proxy and test our hypothesis in a sample of 68 countries during the period 1986-94. There is support for our hypothesis in the data. Finally, we show that omitting bliss points may lead to endogeneity bias in empirical work.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 50 (2006)
Issue (Month): 7 (October)
Pages: 1843-1862

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:50:y:2006:i:7:p:1843-1862

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  1. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2003. "Political Economy Influences Within the Life-Cycle of IMF Programmes," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(9), pages 1255-1278, 09.
  2. Bird, Graham, 1996. "Borrowing from the IMF: The policy implications of recent empirical research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(11), pages 1753-1760, November.
  3. Knight, Malcolm & Santaella, Julio A., 1997. "Economic determinants of IMF financial arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 405-436, December.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2002. "IMF Programs: Who is Chosen and What Are the Effects?," NBER Working Papers 8951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gould, Erica R., 2003. "Money Talks: Supplementary Financiers and International Monetary Fund Conditionality," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(03), pages 551-586, June.
  6. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2001. "IMF lending: how is it affected by economic, political and institutional factors?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 243-270.
  7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Robert, Jacques, 1996. "Optimal auction with financially constrained buyers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 181-186, August.
  8. Maskin, Eric S., 2000. "Auctions, development, and privatization: Efficient auctions with liquidity-constrained buyers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 667-681, May.
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