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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. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2005. "IMF programs: Who is chosen and what are the effects?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1245-1269, October.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006. "Who Adjusts and When? On the Political Economy of Reforms," NBER Working Papers 12049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  6. 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.
  7. Alberto Alesina & David Dollar, 1998. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," NBER Working Papers 6612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
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