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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. Conway, Patrick, 1994. "IMF lending programs: Participation and impact," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 365-391, December.
  2. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  4. 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.
  5. Anna Unigovskaya & Valerie Mercer-Blackman, 2000. "Compliance with IMF Program Indicators and Growth in Transition Economies," IMF Working Papers 00/47, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Michael Mussa & Miguel Savastano, 2000. "The IMF Approach to Economic Stabilization," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 79-128 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jacques J. Polak, 1991. "The Changing Nature of IMF Conditionality," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 41, OECD Publishing.
  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. Dollar, David & Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "What Explains the Success or Failure of Structural Adjustment Programmes?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 894-917, October.
  10. Graham Bird, 2006. "The Implementation of IMF Programs: A Conceptual Framework," School of Economics Discussion Papers 1506, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  11. Wolfgang Mayer & Alex Mourmouras, 2004. "IMF Conditionality and the Theory of Special Interest Politics1," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(3), pages 400-422, September.
  12. Bird, Graham, 1996. "Borrowing from the IMF: The policy implications of recent empirical research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(11), pages 1753-1760, November.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Axel Dreher, 2003. "The influence of elections on IMF programme interruptions," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 101-120.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
  20. 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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