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Structural Reforms, IMF Programs and Capacity Building: An Empirical Investigation

  • Rabah Arezki
  • Marc Quintyn
  • Frederik G Toscani

This paper investigates the role that International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs and capacity building play in fostering structural reforms. To do so, we exploit two novel datasets on IMF capacity building and structural reforms available for over one hundred IMF member countries over the period 1980 - 2010. The main results are threefold. First, there is a general association between IMF programs and structural reforms but this relationship is not very robust. Second, IMF training leads to an increase in structural reforms but only through IMF programs and only when a significant share of public servants is trained. Third, IMF technical assistance does not significantly lead to more structural reforms but raises the likelihood of completion of ongoing IMF programs. Our results are robust to a large number of checks, estimators and correcting for endogeneity.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/232.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 21 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/232
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  1. Dollar, David & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Scholarly Articles 4553020, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Tommasi, Mariano & Velasco, Andres, 1995. "Where are we in the Political Economy of Reform?," Working Papers 95-20, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006. "Who adjusts and when? On the political economy of reforms," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2108, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Rabah Arezki & Herbert Lui & Marc Quintyn & Frederik G Toscani, 2012. "Education Attainment in Public Administration Around the World: Evidence from a New Dataset," IMF Working Papers 12/231, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Robert J Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2003. "IMF Programs: Who Is Chosen and What Are the Effects?," Departmental Working Papers 2003-09, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006. "Who Adjusts and When?The Political Economy of Reforms," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(si), pages 1.
  8. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
  9. Antonio Spilimbergo & Alessandro Prati & Jonathan David Ostry, 2009. "Structural Reforms and Economic Performance in Advanced and Developing Countries," IMF Occasional Papers 268, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Dicks-Mireaux, Louis & Mecagni, Mauro & Schadler, Susan, 2000. "Evaluating the effect of IMF lending to low-income countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 495-526, April.
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