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IMF Conditionality, Implementation and the New Political Economy of Ownership

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  • Graham Bird

    () (Surrey Centre for International Economic Studies, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK.)

  • Thomas D Willett

    () (The Claremont Colleges, 160 East 10th Street, Claremont, CA 91711, USA.)

Abstract

Recent attempts to explain the implementation of conditionality incorporated in IMF-supported programmes have used the concept of ‘ownership’. A literature on ownership has begun to emerge and, alongside this, policy changes in the form of streamlining conditionality and broadening participation in its design have been introduced to encourage ownership. However, ownership is difficult to define precisely and this limits its operational value. This paper focuses instead on implementation and suggests that wider participation will not guarantee better implementation. However, it stresses that political economy variables are important in assessing the chances of implementation and argues that these need to be considered more fully than they are at present when programmes are being negotiated. We suggest a narrow concept of ownership that focuses on prospects for implementation. One implication is that the Fund may have to make concessions on the technical design of programmes in order to maximise the chances that improved policies will be adopted. Comparative Economic Studies (2004) 46, 423–450. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ces.8100060

Suggested Citation

  • Graham Bird & Thomas D Willett, 2004. "IMF Conditionality, Implementation and the New Political Economy of Ownership," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 46(3), pages 423-450, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:46:y:2004:i:3:p:423-450
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens, 2017. "Risk assessment on euro area government bond markets – The role of governance," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PA), pages 104-117.
    2. Graham Bird & Wolfgang Mayer & Alex Mourmouras, 2005. "The Viability of Economic Reform Programs Supported by the International Financial Institutions," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0605, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    3. Graham Bird, 2005. "Over-optimism and the IMF," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(9), pages 1355-1373, September.
    4. Kevin Featherstone, 2016. "Conditionality, Democracy and Institutional Weakness: the Euro-crisis Trilemma," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54, pages 48-64, September.
    5. Abbott, Philip & Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck & Tarp, Finn, 2010. "IMF and economic reform in developing countries," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 17-26, February.
    6. Dreher, Axel, 2006. "IMF and economic growth: The effects of programs, loans, and compliance with conditionality," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 769-788, May.
    7. Graham Bird, 2008. "The implementation of IMF programs: A conceptual framework," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 41-64, March.
    8. Oscar Calvo-Gonzalez, 2007. "Ownership and conditionality in IMF-supported programs: Back to Per Jacobsson’s time," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 329-343, December.
    9. Dreher, Axel & Walter, Stefanie, 2010. "Does the IMF Help or Hurt? The Effect of IMF Programs on the Likelihood and Outcome of Currency Crises," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-18, January.
    10. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2007. "The IMF and the mobilisation of foreign aid," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(5), pages 856-870.
    11. Axel Dreher, 2005. "Does the IMF Influence Fiscal and Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 225-238.
    12. Irina Andone & Beatrice D. Scheubel, 2017. "Memorable Encounters? Own and Neighbours' Experience with IMF Conditionality and IMF Stigma," CESifo Working Paper Series 6399, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. M. Abouharb & David Cingranelli, 2009. "IMF programs and human rights, 1981–2003," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 47-72, March.
    14. Javed, Omer, 2014. "Institutional quality, macroeconomic stabilization and economic growth: a case study of IMF programme countries," MPRA Paper 56370, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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