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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