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Does the IMF Perform a Catalytic Role?

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  • Graham Bird
  • Dane Rowlands

Abstract

The IMF advertises itself as playing a catalytic role, whereby its lending programmes induce other providers of finance to invest or lend as well. The theoretical foundations of this claim are reviewed and found to be questionable. The empirical evidence also appears to contradict the notion of a consistent and significant catalytic effect. The policy implications of weak catalysis are reviewed and alternative approaches to delivering a suitable adjustment process investigated. While some of these alternatives seem worthy of further evaluation, including greater official coordination and the use of alternative private and official pools of capital, many are politically or operationally untenable.

Suggested Citation

  • Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2004. "Does the IMF Perform a Catalytic Role?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 5(1), pages 117-132, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:167
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel McDowell, 2017. "Need for speed: The lending responsiveness of the IMF," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 39-73, March.
    2. Flores Zendejas, Juan, 2015. "Capital Markets and Sovereign Defaults: A Historical Perspective," Working Papers unige:73325, University of Geneva, Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History.
    3. Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, 2007. "Early Starts, Reversals and Catch-up in the Process of Economic Development," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 387-413, June.
    4. Seelos, Christian & Mair, Johanna, 2005. "Sustainable development: How social entrepreneurs make it happen," IESE Research Papers D/611, IESE Business School.

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