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Stop Interrupting: An Empirical Analysis of the Implementation of IMF Programs

  • Arpac, Ozlem
  • Bird, Graham
  • Mandilaras, Alex

Summary For many years the analysis of IMF conditionality overlooked the extent to which it was implemented. However, more recently, increasing attention has been paid to implementation. Theoretical contributions have focused on the importance of special interest groups, but empirical evidence has failed to provide compelling support for the theory. Indeed, empirical studies have reported mixed results that sometimes seem to be conflicting. This paper identifies a range of economic, political and institutional factors that may, in principle, influence implementation. Focusing in particular on the irreversible interruption of IMF programs, it tests an econometric model designed to capture these influences 'over 1992-2004' exploiting improved sources of data. The results suggest that significant determinants of interruption are trade openness, the existence of veto players and the amount of resources committed by the Fund. The paper interprets the results, tests their robustness, briefly examines cases that initially appear to be inconsistent with the overall findings and discusses the implications of the results for policy.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
Pages: 1493-1513

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:36:y:2008:i:9:p:1493-1513
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
  2. Jacques J. Polak, 1991. "The Changing Nature of IMF Conditionality," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 41, OECD Publishing.
  3. Ashoka Mody & Diego Saravia, 2006. "Catalysing Private Capital Flows: Do IMF Programmes Work as Commitment Devices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 843-867, 07.
  4. Dollar, David & Svensson, Jakob, 1998. "What explains the success or failure of structural adjustment programs?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1938, The World Bank.
  5. Axel Dreher, 2003. "The influence of elections on IMF programme interruptions," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 101-120.
  6. Graham Bird, 2008. "The implementation of IMF programs: A conceptual framework," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 41-64, March.
  7. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Polak, J.J., 1991. "The Changing Nature of IMF Conditionality," Princeton Studies in International Economics 184, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  9. Bird, Graham, 1996. "Borrowing from the IMF: The policy implications of recent empirical research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(11), pages 1753-1760, November.
  10. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2002. "The Pattern of IMF Lending: An Analysis of Prediction Failures," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 173-186.
  11. Joseph P. Joyce, 2006. "Promises Made, Promises Broken: A Model Of Imf Program Implementation," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 339-365, November.
  12. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  13. Haggard, Stephan, 1985. "The politics of adjustment: lessons from the IMF's Extended Fund Facility," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 505-534, June.
  14. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2001. "IMF lending: how is it affected by economic, political and institutional factors?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 243-270.
  15. Wolfgang Mayer & Alex Mourmouras, 2004. "IMF Conditionality and the Theory of Special Interest Politics1," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 46(3), pages 400-422, September.
  16. Conway, Patrick, 1994. "IMF lending programs: Participation and impact," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 365-391, December.
  17. Miguel A Savastano & Michael Mussa, 1999. "The IMF Approach to Economic Stabilization," IMF Working Papers 99/104, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Anna Unigovskaya & Valerie A Mercer-Blackman, 2000. "Compliance with IMF Program Indicators and Growth in Transition Economies," IMF Working Papers 00/47, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Edwards, Sebastian, 1989. "The international monetary fund and the developing countries: A critical evaluation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 7-68, January.
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