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Do External Interventions Work? The Case of Trade Reform Conditions in IMF Supported Programs

  • Shang-Jin Wei
  • Zhiwei Zhang

Trade reform conditions are common in IMF supported programs. Of the 99 countries that had IMF programs during 1993-2003, 77 had conditions on trade reforms in their programs. Since the WTO has not been found especially effective in promoting trade openness for most developing countries, it is of great interest to see if the IMF has been more effective as it combines carrots and sticks not available to the WTO. Yet, the effectiveness of trade conditions in IMF programs has not been systematically studied. Using a unique dataset, this paper provides such an assessment. It finds that trade conditions are associated with an increase in trade openness on average, but the effect comes mostly from countries that, by some measure, have a high degree of "willingness to reform."

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12667.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Publication status: published as Wei, Shang-Jin and Zhiwei Zhang. "Do external interventions work? The case of trade reform conditions in IMF supported programs." Journal of Development Economics 92, 1 (2010): 71-81.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12667
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  1. Shang-Jin Wei & Arvind Subramanian, 2003. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," IMF Working Papers 03/185, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Regional Trading Arrangements: Natural or Supernatural," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 52-56, May.
  3. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  4. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72, December.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Wei, Shang-Jin & Zhang, Zhiwei, 2010. "Do external interventions work? The case of trade reform conditions in IMF supported programs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 71-81, May.
  7. Rose, Andrew K, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1994. "Yen Bloc or Dollar Bloc? Exchange Rate Policies of the East Asian Economies," NBER Chapters, in: Macroeconomic Linkage: Savings, Exchange Rates, and Capital Flows, NBER-EASE Volume 3, pages 295-333 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rose, Andrew K., 2004. "Do WTO members have more liberal trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 209-235, July.
  11. repec:rus:hseeco:123558 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  13. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
  14. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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