IMF Conditionality, Implementation and the New Political Economy of Ownership
AbstractRecent attempts to explain the implementation of conditionality incorporated in IMF-supported programmes have used the concept of ‘ownership’. A literature on ownership has begun to emerge and, alongside this, policy changes in the form of streamlining conditionality and broadening participation in its design have been introduced to encourage ownership. However, ownership is difficult to define precisely and this limits its operational value. This paper focuses instead on implementation and suggests that wider participation will not guarantee better implementation. However, it stresses that political economy variables are important in assessing the chances of implementation and argues that these need to be considered more fully than they are at present when programmes are being negotiated. We suggest a narrow concept of ownership that focuses on prospects for implementation. One implication is that the Fund may have to make concessions on the technical design of programmes in order to maximise the chances that improved policies will be adopted. Comparative Economic Studies (2004) 46, 423–450. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ces.8100060
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