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The Political Economy of Conditional and Unconditional Foreign Assistance; Grants vs. Loan Rollovers

  • Wolfgang Mayer
  • Alex Mourmouras
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    Improving the effectiveness of financial assistance programs is a priority of international financial institutions (IFIs). This paper examines the effectiveness of alternative assistance instruments in a dynamic political economy framework. Economic policies of the receiving country are distorted by the influence of a domestic interest group. The assistance-providing IFI aims at reducing these distortions. The IFI provides assistance either as grants or loans, and either conditionally on reducing policy distortions or unconditionally. The paper shows that, other things constant, one-time grants are more effective than loan rollovers when assistance is unconditional, but that the opposite is true when assistance is conditional.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/38.

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    Length: 28
    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/38
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    1. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 752-69, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Alex Mourmouras & Wolfgang Mayer, 2002. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of IFI Conditionality," IMF Working Papers 02/73, International Monetary Fund.
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