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The catalyzing role of policy-based lending by the IMF and the World Bank: fact or fiction?

  • Graham Bird

    (Surrey Centre for International Economic Studies, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)

  • Dane Rowlands

    (Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)

Does the involvement of the IMF and World Bank in developing countries and countries in transition help them to attract capital from other sources? Do the multilateral institutions exert a catalytic effect? While there is a strong body of opinion that claims that they do, the catalytic effect has been under-researched. This paper briefly reports the results from a research project financed by the UK Department for International Development. It examines the theory behind catalysis and also investigates the empirical evidence relating to it, drawing on qualitative research, regression analysis based on a large sample of developing countries, and systematic case studies. The analysis shows how the catalytic effect is nuanced and complex but that overall it is weak. The catalyzing role of the IMF and the World Bank remains potentially important, however, and the paper assesses ways in which it may be strengthened. Reforms are discussed in the context of the debate over a new international financial architecture. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 12 (2000)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 951-973

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:7:p:951-973
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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  1. Graham Bird, 1999. "How important is sound domestic macroeconomics in attracting capital inflows to developing countries?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 1-26.
  2. Ozler, Sule, 1993. "Have Commercial Banks Ignored History?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 608-20, June.
  3. Claessens, Stijn & Dooley, Michael P & Warner, Andrew, 1995. "Portfolio Capital Flows: Hot or Cold?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 153-74, January.
  4. Joyce, Joseph P., 1992. "The economic characteristics of IMF program countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 237-242, February.
  5. 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.
  6. Conway, Patrick, 1994. "IMF lending programs: Participation and impact," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 365-391, December.
  7. Bird, Graham & Orme, Timothy, 1981. "An analysis of drawings on the international monetary fund by developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 563-568, June.
  8. Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo & Montiel, Peter J, 1996. "The Surge in Capital Inflows to Developing Countries: An Analytical Overview," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 51-77, January.
  9. Bird, Graham, 1996. "The International Monetary Fund and developing countries: a review of the evidence and policy options," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(03), pages 477-511, June.
  10. Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen Reinhart & Guillermo Calvo, 1992. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America; The Role of External Factors," IMF Working Papers 92/62, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Mohsin S. Khan, 1990. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Fund-Supported Adjustment Programs," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 195-231, June.
  12. 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.
  13. repec:imf:imfpdp:9702 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Rowlands, Dane, 2001. "The Response of Other Lenders to the IMF," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 531-46, August.
  15. Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo & DEC, 1994. "The new wave of private capital inflows : push or pull?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1312, The World Bank.
  16. Bird, Graham & Hussain, Mumtaz & Joyce, Joseph P., 2004. "Many happy returns? Recidivism and the IMF," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 231-251, March.
  17. Louis Dicks-Mireaux & Miguel A. Savastano & Adam Bennett & María Vicenta Carkovic S. & Mauro Mecagni & James John & Susan Schadler, 1995. "IMF Conditionality; Experience Under Stand-by and Extended Arrangements, Part I: Key Issues and Findings," IMF Occasional Papers 128, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Bird, Graham, 1997. "External financing and balance of payments adjustment in developing countries: Getting a better policy mix," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1409-1420, September.
  19. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis A., 1987. "The external debt repayments problems of LDC's : An econometric model based on panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 205-230.
  20. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 1997. "The Catalytic Effect of Lending by the International Financial Institutions," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(7), pages 967-991, November.
  21. Faini, Riccardo & De Melo, Jaime & Senhadji-Semlali, Abdel & Stanton, Julie, 1989. "Macro performance under adjustment lending," Policy Research Working Paper Series 190, The World Bank.
  22. Cornelius, Peter, 1987. "The demand for IMF credits by Sub-Saharan African countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 99-102.
  23. Collier, Paul & Guillaumont, Patrick & Guillaumont, Sylviane & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1997. "Redesigning conditionality," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1399-1407, September.
  24. Taylor, Mark P & Sarno, Lucio, 1997. "Capital Flows to Developing Countries: Long- and Short-Term Determinants," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(3), pages 451-70, September.
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