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IMF Bailouts and Moral Hazard


  • Jong-Wha Lee

    (Korea University)

  • Kwanho Shin

    (Korea University)


This paper empirically investigates the extent of investor moral hazard associated with IMF bailouts by analyzing the responses of sovereign bond spreads to the changes in the perceived probability of IMF bailouts of countries undergoing financial crisis. We do not find strong evidence that the extent of investor moral hazard changed after the non-bailout of Russia in August 1998 that signaled a modification to IMF intervention policy. In contrast, we find evidence that investor moral hazard is intensified for those countries that have stronger political connections to the IMF and that are thereby more likely to be bailed out by the IMF. This pattern prevailed even after the Russian crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Jong-Wha Lee & Kwanho Shin, 2005. "IMF Bailouts and Moral Hazard," International Finance 0501005, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0501005
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 36

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prasanna Gai & Ashley Taylor, 2004. "International Financial Rescues and Debtor-Country Moral Hazard," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 391-420, December.
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    3. Graham Bird & Dane Rowlands, 2001. "IMF lending: how is it affected by economic, political and institutional factors?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 243-270.
    4. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 2004. "Do Collective Action Clauses Raise Borrowing Costs?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 247-264, April.
    5. Bird, Graham & Hussain, Mumtaz & Joyce, Joseph P., 2004. "Many happy returns? Recidivism and the IMF," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 231-251, March.
    6. Olivier Jeanne & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2001. "International bailouts, moral hazard and conditionality," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 407-432, October.
    7. Olivier Jeanne & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2005. "The Mussa Theorem (and Other Results on IMF-Induced Moral Hazard)," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(si), pages 1-5.
    8. Yung Chul Park & Yunjong Wang, 2002. "What Kind of International Financial Architecture for an Integrated World Economy?," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-128.
    9. 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.
    10. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Jeronimo Zettelmeyer & Isabel Schnabel, 2002. "Moral Hazard and International Crisis Lending; A Test," IMF Working Papers 02/181, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Barry J. Eichengreen, 1999. "Toward a New International Financial Architecture: A Practical Post-Asia Agenda," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 51.
    12. Andrew G Haldane & Jorg Scheibe, 2004. "IMF lending and creditor moral hazard," Bank of England working papers 216, Bank of England.
    13. Steven B. Kamin, 2002. "Identifying the role of moral hazard in international financial markets," International Finance Discussion Papers 736, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    14. Ashoka Mody & Diego Saravia, 2005. "Catalyzing Private Capital Flows: Do IMF Programs Work as Commitment Devices?," Documentos de Trabajo 280, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    15. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Schnabel, Isabel & Zettelmeyer, Jeromin, 2006. "How Do Official Bailouts Affect the Risk of Investing in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1689-1714, October.
    16. Steven T Phillips & Timothy D. Lane, 2000. "Does IMF Financing Result in Moral Hazard?," IMF Working Papers 00/168, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Fukuda, Shin-ichi & Hoshi, Takeo & Ito, Takatoshi & Rose, Andrew, 2006. "International Finance," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 455-458, December.
    18. Axel Dreher, 2004. "Does the IMF cause moral hazard? A critical review of the evidence," International Finance 0402003, EconWPA, revised 20 Dec 2004.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernal, Oscar & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2010. "Observing bailout expectations during a total eclipse of the sun," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1193-1205, November.
    2. E. Mengus, 2014. "International Bailouts: Why Did Banks' Collective Bet Lead Europe to Rescue Greece?," Working papers 502, Banque de France.
    3. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2013. "Monetary Integration, Soft Budget Constraints, and the EMU Sovereign Debt Crises," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-03, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    4. Zuccardi Huertas Igor Esteban, 2015. "Sovereign Spreads in the Eurozone: Is Market Discipline Working?," Working Papers 2015-20, Banco de México.
    5. Kirsten H. Heppke-Falk & Guntram B. Wolff, 2008. "Moral Hazard and Bail-Out in Fiscal Federations: Evidence for the German Länder," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 425-446, August.
    6. Li, Larry & Sy, Malick & McMurray, Adela, 2015. "Insights into the IMF bailout debate: A review and research agenda," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 891-914.
    7. Van Hecke, Annelore, 2013. "Vertical debt spillovers in EMU countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 468-492.
    8. repec:bla:ecopol:v:29:y:2017:i:3:p:252-275 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    IMF; moral hazard; sovereign bond spreads; international financial architecture;

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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