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Time Past and Time Present: a Duration Analysis of IMF Program Spells


  • Joseph P. Joyce


The programs of the IMF were designed to provide short-term assistance to countries with balance-of- payments disequilibria. Over time, however, the Fund instituted new facilities with longer time horizons, while many countries adopted consecutive programs. As a result, the length of time spent by countries in IMF programs has grown. This paper analyzes IMF program spells for a group of developing economies over the period of 1982-2000. Duration models are used to investigate the time dependence of the spells and the factors that affect their duration. The hazard ratio of spells has a nonmonotonic shape, first rising and then falling. Spell duration is independent of previous spell length or the number of spells. Program duration is extended for countries with lower income, exports concentrated in primary goods, landlocked geographic status and autocratic regimes. Governments that are polarized have shorter spells, which may reflect a breakdown in governance. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005..

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph P. Joyce, 2005. "Time Past and Time Present: a Duration Analysis of IMF Program Spells," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 283-297, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:13:y:2005:i:2:p:283-297

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Diego Saravia & Ashoka Mody, 2003. "Catalyzing Capital Flows; Do IMF-Supported Programs Work As Commitment Devices?," IMF Working Papers 03/100, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Vreeland,James Raymond, 2003. "The IMF and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521816755, March.
    3. Vreeland,James Raymond, 2003. "The IMF and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016957, March.
    4. International Monetary Fund, 1998. "Do IMF-Supported Programs Work? A Survey of the Cross-Country Empirical Evidence," IMF Working Papers 98/169, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Christoph Trebesch, 2016. "The International Monetary Fund: 70 Years of Reinvention," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    2. Christoph Moser & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2011. "Explaining IMF lending decisions after the Cold War," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 307-340, September.
    3. Presbitero, Andrea F. & Zazzaro, Alberto, 2012. "IMF Lending in Times of Crisis: Political Influences and Crisis Prevention," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1944-1969.
    4. Córcoles, David & Triguero, Ángela & Cuerva, María Carmen, 2016. "Comparing persistence of product and process innovation: A discrete-time duration analysis of innovation spells," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 10, pages 1-35.
    5. Joseph P. Joyce & Ilan Noy, 2008. "The IMF and the Liberalization of Capital Flows," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 413-430, August.
    6. Rune Hagen, 2012. "Certified or branded?," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 203-230, June.
    7. Baier, Scott L; Bergstrand, Jeffery H; Mariutto, Roland., 2010. "The Growth of Bilateralism," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 12, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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