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Independent Actor or Agent? An Empirical Analysis of the impact of US interests on IMF Conditions

In this paper we analyze whether IMF conditionality is exclusively designed in line with observable economic indicators or, alternatively, whether it is partly driven by its major shareholder, the US. A panel data analysis of 206 letters of intent from 38 countries over the period 4/1997-2/2003 reveals that the number of conditions on an IMF loan depends on a borrowing country’s voting pattern in the UN General Assembly. Closer allies of the United States (and other G7 countries) receive IMF loans with fewer conditions especially prior to elections. These results contribute to the current public policy debates on the role and process of setting IMF conditions, and provide broader insights into the influence of the United States and other G7 countries in international institutions.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 05-118.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:05-118
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  2. Morris Goldstein & Timothy F. Geithner & Paul Keating & Yung Chul Park, 2003. "IMF Structural Programs," NBER Chapters, in: Economic and Financial Crises in Emerging Market Economies, pages 363-458 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816755 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Axel Dreher, 2003. "The influence of elections on IMF programme interruptions," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 101-120.
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  13. Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2006. "Do IMF and World Bank Influence Voting in the UN General Assembly?," KOF Working papers 06-137, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  14. Axel Dreher, 2004. "The Influence of IMF Programs on the Re-election of Debtor Governments," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 53-76, 03.
  15. Axel Dreher & Roland Vaubel, 2004. "The Causes and Consequences of IMF Conditionality," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 40(3), pages 26-54, May.
  16. Axel Dreher, 2004. "IMF and Economic Growth: The Effects of Programs, Loans, and Compliance with Conditionality," TWI Research Paper Series 1, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
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  18. Przeworski, Adam & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2000. "The effect of IMF programs on economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 385-421, August.
  19. Axel Dreher & Roland Vaubel, 2004. "Do IMF and IBRD Cause Moral Hazard and Political Business Cycles? Evidence from Panel Data," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 5-22, January.
  20. 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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  24. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
  25. Allan Meltzer, 2006. "Reviving the Bank and Fund," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
  26. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-77, Fall.
  27. Roland Vaubel, 2006. "Principal-agent problems in international organizations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 125-138, June.
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