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The IMF and the force of History

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  • James M. Boughton
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    Abstract

    The International Monetary Fund was designed during World War II by men whose worldview had been shaped by the Great War and the Great Depression. Their views on how the postwar international monetary system should function were also shaped by their economics training and their nationalities. After the IMF began functioning as an institution, its evolution was similarly driven by a combination of political events (Suez, African independence, the collapse of global communism), economic events (the rising economic power of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia), and trends and cycles in economic theory (the monetary approach to the balance of payments, new classical economics, the rise and fall of the Washington Consensus). As they happened, these forces had effects that were perceived as adaptations to current events and new ideas within a fixed institutional structure and mandate. The cumulative effect of history on the institution has been rather more profound and requires a longer and larger perspective.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/75.

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    Length: 25
    Date of creation: 01 May 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/75

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    Keywords: IMF; Fund; Fund history; Debt problems; Monetary measures; Floating exchange rates; Supply-side policy; Inflation targeting; monetary fund; inflation; balance of payments; monetary policy; international monetary system; monetary system; monetary approach; international trade; world economy; monetarism; multilateral trade; economic cooperation; central bank; protectionist policies; gold reserves; world trade; monetary growth; quantity theory of money; political economy; aggregate demand; exporting countries; money stock; exchange rate regimes; prudential supervision; monetary policies; theory of money; trading partners; international monetary arrangements; monetary framework; trade flows; dynamic effects; money demand; economic liberalization; world market; exchange rate regime; multilateral cooperation; monetary policy instruments; international monetary cooperation; multilateralism; balancing act; monetary model; money balances; share of world exports; international trade policies; trade policies; terms of trade; monetary discipline; price stability; common market; monetary arrangements; monetary policy strategy; reciprocal trade agreements; world exports; exchange rate policies; demand for money; monetary cooperation; monetary economics; trade shock; monetary aggregates; monetary expansion; trade agreements; trade barriers;

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    1. David Laidler & Roger Sandilands, 2002. "An Early Harvard Memorandum on Anti-Depression Policies: An Introductory Note," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 515-532, Fall.
    2. Bordo, Michael D & Eichengreen, Barry, 1997. "Implications of the Great Depression for the Development of the International Monetary System," CEPR Discussion Papers 1680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Gerd Schwartz & Pau Rabanal & Mario I. Bléjer & Alfredo Mario Leone, 2001. "Inflation Targeting in the Context of IMF-Supported Adjustment Programs," IMF Working Papers 01/31, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Williamson, John, 2000. "What Should the World Bank Think about the Washington Consensus?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 251-64, August.
    5. Crucini, M.J. & Kahn, J., 1994. "Tarrifs and Aggregate Economic Activity: Lessons from the Great Depression," RCER Working Papers 383, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    6. Karl Brunner, 1968. "The role of money and monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 8-24.
    7. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Exchange rate expectations and monetary policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 231-244, August.
    8. Robin Brooks & Kenneth Rogoff & Ashoka Mody & Nienke Oomes & Aasim M. Husain, 2004. "Evolution and Performance of Exchange Rate Regimes," IMF Occasional Papers 229, International Monetary Fund.
    9. James M. Boughton, 2002. "Why White, Not Keynes? Inventing the Post-War International Monetary System," IMF Working Papers 02/52, International Monetary Fund.
    10. David Laidler & Roger Sandilands, 2000. "An Early Harvard Memorandum on anti-Depression Policies. Introductory Note," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20004, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    11. Michael D. Bordo & Claudia Goldin & Eugene N. White, 1998. "The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord98-1, May.
    12. Andrew Berg & Paolo Mauro & Michael Mussa & Alexander K. Swoboda & Esteban Jadresic & Paul R. Masson, 2000. "Exchange Rate Regimes in an Increasingly Integrated World Economy," IMF Occasional Papers 193, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Stanley Fischer, 2003. "Globalization and Its Challenges," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 1-30, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Cedrini Mario, 2007. "Consensus vs. freedom of consensus upon freedom? From Washington disorder to the rediscovery of Keynes," CESMEP Working Papers 200708, University of Turin.
    2. Ralph Chami & Sunil Sharma & Ilhyock Shim, 2005. "A model of the IMF as a coinsurance arrangement," BIS Working Papers 170, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Jonathan David Ostry & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2005. "Strengthening IMF Crisis Prevention," IMF Working Papers 05/206, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Akram, Q. Farooq, 2011. "Policy analysis in real time using IMF's monetary model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1696-1709, July.
    5. Christoph Moser & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2011. "Explaining IMF Lending Decisions after the Cold War," KOF Working papers 11-279, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    6. Eugenio Cerutti, 2007. "Imf Drawing Programs," IMF Working Papers 07/152, International Monetary Fund.

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