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The IMF and the Mobilization of Foreign Aid

  • Graham Bird

    (University of Surrey)

  • Dane Rowlands

    (Carleton University)

Particularly in the context of the Millennium Development Goals, there has been much discussion of the association between the International Monetary Fund and bilateral aid flows. What role should the Fund be playing in helping to achieve the MDGs? Some observers have suggested that the Fund should seek to reduce its role in poor countries and should be minimising its own lending. They see aid donors taking on a larger role and present the IMF and aid donors as substitutes. Others envisage a much bigger lending role for the Fund. This may hint at complementarities. Although this discussion raises important policy issues there are very few studies that examine the relationship empirically. This paper attempts to help fill this gap. It explores the extent to which the IMF has had a catalytic effect on Official Development Assistance and the potential channels through which catalysis might work. It finds strong evidence of a positive association and suggests that this may have more to do with conditionality than with the provision of IMF resources. But it may not represent catalysis in the conventional sense. There is a synergy between the IMF and bilateral aid that may yet be more fully developed and exploited.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Surrey in its series School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 1105.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:1105
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Web page: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/economics/
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  1. Diego Saravia & Ashoka Mody, 2003. "Catalyzing Capital Flows; Do IMF-Supported Programs Work As Commitment Devices?," IMF Working Papers 03/100, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Bulir, Ales & Hamann, A. Javier, 2001. "How Volatile and Unpredictable are Aid Flows, and What are the Policy Implications?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Axel Dreher, 2003. "The influence of elections on IMF programme interruptions," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 101-120.
  4. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 1997. "The Catalytic Effect of Lending by the International Financial Institutions," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(7), pages 967-991, November.
  5. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "The IMF`s role in structural adjustment," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1999-18, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. G. Bird & D. Rowlands, 2001. "World Bank Lending And Other Financial Flows: Is There a Connection?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 83-103.
  7. Timothy D. Lane & Ales Bulir, 2002. "Aid and Fiscal Management," IMF Working Papers 02/112, International Monetary Fund.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521790956 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 2006. "Catalytic finance: When does it work?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 161-177, September.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816755 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Graham Bird, 2004. "The IMF Forever: An Analysis of the Prolonged Use of Fund Resources," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(6), pages 30-58.
  12. Bird, Graham, 2002. "The credibility and signalling effect of IMF programmes," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 24(9), pages 799-811, December.
  13. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2000. "The catalyzing role of policy-based lending by the IMF and the World Bank: fact or fiction?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(7), pages 951-973.
  14. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  15. John Hudson, 2004. "Introduction: Aid and Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages F185-F190, 06.
  16. Robert Powell, 2003. "Debt Relief, Additionality, and Aid Allocation in Low Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 03/175, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Graham Bird & Thomas D Willett, 2004. "IMF Conditionality, Implementation and the New Political Economy of Ownership," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(3), pages 423-450, September.
  18. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
  19. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2002. "Do IMF Programmes Have a Catalytic Effect on Other International Capital Flows?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 229-249.
  20. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
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