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Upping the Ante for Political Economy Analysis of the International Financial Institutions

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  • Thomas D. Willett

Abstract

Public choice analysis has clearly demonstrated the need to consider the roles of rent seeking and bureaucratic self-interest in influencing the international economic policies of national governments and the behaviour of international organisations. We have reached a stage, however, where more attention needs to be paid to the nature of bureaucratic incentives and the degree of discretion that bureaucracies have under different circumstances. It is suggested that the incentives for budget maximisation are likely to vary substantially from one institution to another. Specifically such incentives seem likely to be much stronger for the World Bank than fot the IMF. The evidence presented by Rolanf Vaubel for budget maximisation by the IMF is critically examined and it is argued that much of this evidence is equally constant with other hypotheses. Thus there is a need for more research on the political economy of the international financial institutions. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.

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  • Thomas D. Willett, 2001. "Upping the Ante for Political Economy Analysis of the International Financial Institutions," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 317-332, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:24:y:2001:i:3:p:317-332
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    Cited by:

    1. Michele Fratianni & John Pattison, 2004. "Who is Running the IMF: Critical Shareholders or the Staff?," Working Papers 2004-06, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    2. Thomas D. Willett, 2001. "Restructuring IMF Facilities to Separate Lender of Last Resort and Conditionality Programs: The Meltzer Commission Recommendations as Complements rather than Substitutes," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-28, Claremont Colleges.
    3. Anwar, Mumtaz, 2005. "The Political Economy of International Financial Institutions? Lending to Pakistan," HWWA Discussion Papers 338, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).

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