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The IMF and the force of History; Ten Events and Ten Ideas that Have Shaped the Institution

  • James M. Boughton
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    The International Monetary Fund was designed during World War II by men whose worldview had been shaped by the Great War and the Great Depression. Their views on how the postwar international monetary system should function were also shaped by their economics training and their nationalities. After the IMF began functioning as an institution, its evolution was similarly driven by a combination of political events (Suez, African independence, the collapse of global communism), economic events (the rising economic power of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia), and trends and cycles in economic theory (the monetary approach to the balance of payments, new classical economics, the rise and fall of the Washington Consensus). As they happened, these forces had effects that were perceived as adaptations to current events and new ideas within a fixed institutional structure and mandate. The cumulative effect of history on the institution has been rather more profound and requires a longer and larger perspective.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/75.

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    Length: 25
    Date of creation: 01 May 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/75
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    1. Karl Brunner, 1968. "The role of money and monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 8-24.
    2. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen, 1997. "Implications of the Great Depression for the Development of the International Monetary System," NBER Working Papers 5883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Boughton, James M, 2000. "From Suez to Tequila: The IMF as Crisis Manager," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 273-91, January.
    4. Mario I. Blejer & Alfredo M. Leone & Pau Rabanal & Gerd Schwartz, 2002. "Inflation Targeting in the Context of IMF-Supported Adjustment Programs," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(3), pages 2.
    5. Stanley Fischer, 2003. "Globalization and Its Challenges," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 1-30, May.
    6. David Laidler & Roger Sandilands, 2000. "An Early Harvard Memorandum on anti-Depression Policies. Introductory Note," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20004, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    7. Michael D. Bordo & Claudia Goldin & Eugene N. White, 1998. "The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord98-1, October.
    8. David Laidler & Roger Sandilands, 2002. "An Early Harvard Memorandum on Anti-Depression Policies: An Introductory Note," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 515-532, Fall.
    9. Andrew Berg & Paolo Mauro & Michael Mussa & Alexander K. Swoboda & Esteban Jadresic & Paul R. Masson, 2000. "Exchange Rate Regimes in an Increasingly Integrated World Economy," IMF Occasional Papers 193, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Williamson, John, 2000. "What Should the World Bank Think about the Washington Consensus?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 251-64, August.
    11. Crucini, M.J. & Kahn, J., 1994. "Tarrifs and Aggregate Economic Activity: Lessons from the Great Depression," RCER Working Papers 383, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    12. Robin Brooks & Kenneth Rogoff & Ashoka Mody & Nienke Oomes & Aasim M. Husain, 2004. "Evolution and Performance of Exchange Rate Regimes," IMF Occasional Papers 229, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Exchange rate expectations and monetary policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 231-244, August.
    14. Andrew D. Crockett & Owen J. Evans, 1980. "Demand for Money in Middle Eastern Countries (La demande de monnaie dans les pays du Moyen-Orient) (Demanda de dinero en países del Oriente Medio)," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(3), pages 543-577, September.
    15. James M. Boughton, 2002. "Why White, Not Keynes? Inventing the Post-War International Monetary System," IMF Working Papers 02/52, International Monetary Fund.
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