IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

International Financial Assistance: A Loan Mechanism-Design Approach

Listed author(s):
Registered author(s):

    International Financial Institutions (IFIs) tie resource transfers to capital-scarce countries to improvements in their economic policies and institutions. The objective of this assistance is twofold: to augment the recipient's capital base and to improve its allocation of resources. This paper offers a political-economy explanation for the limited success of some of these loan programs. In our model, governments select policies under the influence of interest groups. Their capacity to absorb IFI loans and their reform efforts are both unobservable to the IFI. An optimally designed loan mechanism must create sufficient incentives - in the form of rewards and punishments - to counter the influence of interest groups on economic policy choices. The loan mechanism is, however, constrained in two ways: it cannot punish a country so severely as to threaten its political stability and it must remain affordable to the IFI. Whenever reform incentives are inadequate, a government will accept the loan but cheat on the implementation of reforms. If, on the other hand, the mechanism design is optimal, it might be so costly to the IFI that a well-entrenched interest group can block the reform program. Nonetheless, the availability of properly designed loan mechanisms will push governments to implement partial reforms even if the optimal mechanism is too costly for the IFI. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

    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:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    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.

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (03)
    Pages: 126-158

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:21:y:2009:i:1:p:126-158
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:21:y:2009:i:1:p:126-158. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.