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Catalyzing Capital Flows; Do IMF-Supported Programs Work As Commitment Devices?

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  • Diego Saravia
  • Ashoka Mody

Abstract

An objective of IMF-supported programs is to help countries improve their access to international capital markets. In this paper, we examine the issue whether IMF-supported programs influence the ability of developing country issuers to tap international bond markets and whether they improve spreads paid on the bonds issued. We find that IMF-supported programs do not provide a uniformly favorable signaling effect-that is, the mere existence of a program supported by the IMF does not act as a strong "seal of good housekeeping." Instead, the evidence is most consistent with a positive effect of IMF-supported programs when they are viewed as likely to lead to policy reform and when undertaken before economic fundamentals have deteriorated significantly. The size of the IMF-supported program matters, but the credibility of a joint commitment by the country and the IMF appears to be critical.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Saravia & Ashoka Mody, 2003. "Catalyzing Capital Flows; Do IMF-Supported Programs Work As Commitment Devices?," IMF Working Papers 03/100, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/100
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    File URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=16443
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    1. Alex Mourmouras & Anna Ivanova & George C. Anayotos & Wolfgang Mayer, 2003. "What Determines the Implementation of IMF-Supported Programs?," IMF Working Papers 03/8, International Monetary Fund.
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