Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

IMF and economic reform in developing countries

Contents:

Author Info

  • Abbott, Philip
  • Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck
  • Tarp, Finn

Abstract

In this paper we assess the IMF approach to economic reform in developing countries. The impact of IMF program participation on economic growth has been evaluated empirically in a cross-country literature, with little evidence of IMF programs having been successful. This suggests that a fresh approach is in order. However, the cross-country approach is unlikely to provide a sound basis for drawing clear conclusions, so we review IMF programs from a different perspective, involving a broader literature on development strategy. In particular, it is widely accepted that a common characteristic of IMF programs is a high degree of policy rigidity. This is in contrast with studies which hold that unleashing an economy's growth potential hinges on a set of well-targeted policy interventions aimed at removing country-specific binding constraints. The process of locating constraints that bind involves growth diagnostics and policy trialing. This approach maintains that not all distortions are equally important and, by extension, not all policy reforms. From this point of view, IMF programs based on a list of standard conditionalities will not accomplish much. But policy trialing is more relevant to actors and entities with a broader, and more microeconomic, focus such as national policymakers and the World Bank. It is in choices among competing projects and programs that trial and error is most likely to be necessary. Nevertheless, reforms of the IMF such as the "streamlining initiative" should start from a good understanding of the reasons for adherence to policy orthodoxy. We discuss underlying institutional and organizational reasons for policy rigidity and consider some suggested reforms.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5X-4XH0MV6-2/2/564441127125965a10aa75b675e498f5
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 50 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 17-26

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:50:y:2010:i:1:p:17-26

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620167

Related research

Keywords: IMF programs Structural conditionality Economic growth;

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Yunyong Thaicharoen, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," NBER Working Papers 9124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2005. "IMF programs: Who is chosen and what are the effects?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1245-1269, October.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sebastian Edwards, 1989. "On the Sequencing of Structural Reforms," NBER Working Papers 3138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Avinash Dixit, 2007. "Evaluating Recipes for Development Success," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 131-157, June.
  6. Dani Rodrik, 2008. "Second-Best Institutions," NBER Working Papers 14050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dani Rodrick, 2003. "Growth Strategies," Economics working papers 2003-17, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  8. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "The Growth of Nations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 275-326.
  9. Pritchett, Lant, 2000. "The tyranny of concepts - CUDIE (Cumulated, Depreciated Investment Effort) is NOT capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2341, The World Bank.
  10. Axel Dreher, 2004. "IMF and Economic Growth: The Effects of Programs, Loans, and Compliance with Conditionality," TWI Research Paper Series 1, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  11. Dicks-Mireaux, Louis & Mecagni, Mauro & Schadler, Susan, 2000. "Evaluating the effect of IMF lending to low-income countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 495-526, April.
  12. Easterly, William, 2005. "What did structural adjustment adjust?: The association of policies and growth with repeated IMF and World Bank adjustment loans," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-22, February.
  13. Jonathan Temple, 2006. "Aggregate Production Functions and Growth Economics," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 301-317.
  14. Morris Goldstein, 2001. "IMF Structural Conditionality: How Much is Too Much?," Working Paper Series WP01-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  15. Easterly, William, 2008. "Institutions: top down or bottom up?," MPRA Paper 39137, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Blackorby, Charles & Schworm, William, 1988. "The Existence of Input and Output Aggregates in Aggregate Production Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 613-43, May.
  17. William Easterly, 2003. "National Policies and Economic Growth: A Reappraisal," Working Papers 27, Center for Global Development.
  18. James Vreeland, 2006. "IMF program compliance: Aggregate index versus policy specific research strategies," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 359-378, December.
  19. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
  20. Dani Rodrik, 2007. "Introductiion to One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth
    [One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  21. Rybczynski, Tad M, 1991. "The Sequencing of Reform," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(4), pages 26-34, Winter.
  22. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2004. "Capital-market Liberalization, Globalization, and the IMF," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 57-71, Spring.
  23. Graham Bird, 2007. "The Imf: A Bird'S Eye View Of Its Role And Operations," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 683-745, 09.
  24. David Y. Albouy, 2008. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Investigation of the Settler Mortality Data," NBER Working Papers 14130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Fisher, Franklin M, 1969. "The Existence of Aggregate Production Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 553-77, October.
  26. Domenico Lombardi, 2007. "The Role of the IMF in Low-Income Countries," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 8(4), pages 191-195, October.
  27. Axel Dreher, 2003. "The influence of elections on IMF programme interruptions," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 101-120.
  28. Montiel, Peter & Serven, Luis, 2004. "Macroeconomic stability in developing countries - How much is enough?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3456, The World Bank.
  29. Taylor, Lance, 1997. "Editorial: The revival of the liberal creed -- the IMF and the World Bank in a globalized economy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 145-152, February.
  30. Jesus Felipe & Franklin M. Fisher, 2003. "Aggregation in Production Functions: What Applied Economists should Know," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 208-262, 05.
  31. Graham Bird & Thomas D Willett, 2004. "IMF Conditionality, Implementation and the New Political Economy of Ownership," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(3), pages 423-450, September.
  32. Bessma Momani, 2007. "IMF staff: Missing link in fund reform proposals," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 39-57, March.
  33. Charles I. Jones, 2008. "Intermediate Goods, Weak Links, and Superstars: A Theory of Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 13834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Przeworski, Adam & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2000. "The effect of IMF programs on economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 385-421, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Javed, Omer, 2014. "Institutional quality, macroeconomic stabilization and economic growth: a case study of IMF programme countries," MPRA Paper 56370, University Library of Munich, Germany.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:50:y:2010:i:1:p:17-26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.