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Dealing with country diversity: challenges for the IMF credit union model

  • Irwin, Gregor

    ()

    (Bank of England)

  • Penalver, Adrian

    ()

    (Bank of England)

  • Salmon, Chris

    ()

    (Bank of England)

  • Taylor, Ashley

    (London School of Economics)

We develop a model in which countries can protect themselves against shocks by subscribing to a credit union that shares the key features of the International Monetary Fund, or by self-insuring through accumulating reserves. We assess the impact of the increasing heterogeneity of the Fund's membership on the political equilibrium Fund size and hence its effectiveness as a credit union. We find the Fund's existing lending framework is well suited to a world in which its members have homogeneous interests, but as the membership has become more heterogeneous the Fund is increasingly unlikely to provide financing on a sufficient scale to meet the demands of higher-risk members, leading them to rely more heavily on self-insurance. We conclude that the framework governing the Fund's lending operations may no longer be appropriate.

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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 349.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0349
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  1. Jacques Cremer & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Federal Mandates by Popular Demand," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 905-927, October.
  2. Chami, Ralph & Sharma, Sunil & Shim, Ilhyock, 2007. "A Model of the IMF as a Coinsurance Arrangement," Economics Discussion Papers 2007-26, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Tito Cordella y Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2005. "A (New) Country Insurance Facility," Business School Working Papers newcountryins, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  4. Gouveia, Miguel, 1997. " Majority Rule and the Public Provision of a Private Good," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3-4), pages 221-44, December.
  5. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  6. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 623-46, May.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "Institutional Rules for Federations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1940, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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