IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/lserod/46623.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

"The silent revolution": how the staff exercise informal governance over IMF lending

Author

Listed:
  • Chwieroth, Jeffrey

Abstract

his paper examines how the staff exercise informal governance over lending decisions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF or Fund). The essential component of designing any IMF program, assessing the extent to which a borrowing country is likely to fulfill its policy commitments, is based partly on informal staff judgments subject to informal incentives and normative orientations not dictated by formal rules and procedures. Moreover, when country officials are unable to commit to policy goals of the IMF, the IMF staff may bypass the formal channel of policy dialogue through informal contacts and negotiations with more like-minded actors outside the policymaking process. Exercising informal governance in these ways, the staff are motived by informal career advancement incentives and normative orientations associated with the organization’s culture to provide favorable treatment to borrowers composed of policy teams sympathetic toward their policy goals. The presence of these sympathetic interlocutors provides the staff both with greater confidence a lending program will achieve success and an opportunity to support officials who share their policy beliefs. I assess these arguments using a new dataset that proxies shared policy beliefs based on the professional characteristics of IMF staff and developing country officials. The evidence supports these arguments: larger loan commitments are extended to countries where government officials and the Fund staff share similar professional training. The analysis implies informal governance operates in IOs not just via state influence but also through the evolving makeup, incentive structure, and normative orientations of their staffs.

Suggested Citation

  • Chwieroth, Jeffrey, 2012. ""The silent revolution": how the staff exercise informal governance over IMF lending," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 46623, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:46623
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/46623/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Allan Drazen, 2002. "Conditionality and Ownership in IMF Lending: A Political Economy Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(Special i), pages 36-67.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    3. Broz, J. Lawrence & Hawes, Michael Brewster, 2006. "Congressional Politics of Financing the International Monetary Fund," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(02), pages 367-399, April.
    4. Vreeland,James Raymond, 2003. "The IMF and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521816755.
    5. Vreeland,James Raymond, 2003. "The IMF and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016957.
    6. Plümper, Thomas & Troeger, Vera E., 2007. "Efficient Estimation of Time-Invariant and Rarely Changing Variables in Finite Sample Panel Analyses with Unit Fixed Effects," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 124-139, March.
    7. Martin Steinwand & Randall Stone, 2008. "The International Monetary Fund: A review of the recent evidence," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 123-149, June.
    8. Braumoeller, Bear F., 2004. "Hypothesis Testing and Multiplicative Interaction Terms," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(04), pages 807-820, October.
    9. Axel Dreher & Roland Vaubel, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of IMF Conditionality," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 26-54, May.
    10. Colander, David, 2003. "The Aging of an Economist," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(02), pages 157-176, June.
    11. Carter, David B. & Signorino, Curtis S., 2010. "Back to the Future: Modeling Time Dependence in Binary Data," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 271-292, June.
    12. Drazen, Allan, 2002. "Conditionality and Ownership in IMF Lending: A Political Economy Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 3562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Michael Mussa & Miguel Savastano, 2000. "The IMF Approach to Economic Stabilization," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 79-128 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Fischer, Stanley, 1997. "Applied Economics in Action: IMF Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 23-27, May.
    15. Haggard, Stephan, 1985. "The politics of adjustment: lessons from the IMF's Extended Fund Facility," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 505-534, June.
    16. Copelovitch,Mark S., 2010. "The International Monetary Fund in the Global Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521143585.
    17. Ho, Daniel E. & Imai, Kosuke & King, Gary & Stuart, Elizabeth A., 2007. "Matching as Nonparametric Preprocessing for Reducing Model Dependence in Parametric Causal Inference," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 199-236, June.
    18. Roland Vaubel, 1996. "Bureaucracy at the IMF and the World Bank: A Comparison of the Evidence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 195-210, March.
    19. Copelovitch,Mark S., 2010. "The International Monetary Fund in the Global Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521194334.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Anna Minasyan, 2016. "US Aid, US educated Leaders and Economic Ideology," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 215, Courant Research Centre PEG.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    IMF; organizational culture; professional training;

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:46623. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.