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Independent Actor or Agent? An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of U.S. Interests on International Monetary Fund Conditions

Listed author(s):
  • Dreher, Axel
  • Jensen, Nathan M

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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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/508311
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 50 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 105-124

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2007:v:50:i:1:p:105-24
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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  1. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Helge Berger & Jakob de Haan, 2005. "Which Variables Explain Decisions On Imf Credit? An Extreme Bounds Analysis," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 177-213, 07.
  2. Anne Krueger, 2006. "A response to Allan Meltzer," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-64, March.
  3. Boockmann, Bernhard & Dreher, Axel, 2003. "The contribution of the IMF and the World Bank to economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 633-649, September.
  4. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2005. "IMF programs: Who is chosen and what are the effects?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1245-1269, October.
  5. Alex Mourmouras & Anna Ivanova & George C. Anayotos & Wolfgang Mayer, 2003. "What Determines the Implementation of IMF-Supported Programs?," IMF Working Papers 03/8, .
  6. Helge Berger & Jakob de Haan & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2005. "Which Variables Explain Decisions on IMF Credit? An Extreme Bounds Analysis�," TWI Research Paper Series 13, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit�t Konstanz.
  7. Allan Meltzer, 2006. "Reviving the Bank and Fund," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
  8. Roland Vaubel & Axel Dreher & Ugurlu Soylu, 2003. "Staff Growth in International Organizations: A Principal-Agent Problem? An Empirical Analysis," Public Economics 0306006, EconWPA, revised 08 Jul 2003.
  9. Przeworski, Adam & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2000. "The effect of IMF programs on economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 385-421, August.
  10. Richard Swedberg, 1986. "The Doctrine of Economic Neutrality of the IMF and the World Bank," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 23(4), pages 377-390, December.
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