Independent Actor or Agent? An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of U.S. Interests on International Monetary Fund Conditions
In this paper, we analyze whether International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionality is exclusively designed to be in line with observable economic indicators or whether it is partly driven by the IMF's major shareholder, the United States. A panel data analysis of 206 letters of intent from 38 countries, submitted during the period April 1997 through February 2003, revealed that the number of conditions on an IMF loan depended on a borrowing country's voting pattern in the UN General Assembly. Closer allies of the United States (and other Group of 7 [G7] countries) received IMF loans with fewer conditions, especially prior to elections. These results are relevant to current public policy debates on the role and process of setting IMF loan conditions and provide broader insight into the influence of the United States and other G7 countries on international institutions.
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