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Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands

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Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands

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Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands

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Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands

The International Monetary Fund’s structure and rules are based on the quota system that was constructed when the Fund was set up in 1946. Quotas affect contributions and resource availability at the Fund, access to resources, the distribution of Special Drawing Rights, and voting rights. Despite periodic reviews and modifications, the quota system has gradually been eroded and undermined. The fundamental problem is that a single system is attempting to serve four separate and incompatible functions. We illustrate how this erosion has taken place, and how an unreformed quota system will compromise the future operations of the IMF and the international monetary and financial system. Although the difficulties associated with reforming quotas are myriad and complex, the legacy of an unreformed quota system may be profoundly undesirable. We argue that a refined IMF structure must accommodate a clearer separation of a member’s contributions to the IMF, its access to IMF resources, and its voting rights at the institution.
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Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands

Increasing attention is being paid to IMF governance and operations, but not to how IMF programs are differentiated under the array of available lending windows. This chapter examines empirically the economic and political circumstances associated with the use of IMF facilities. It therefore extends existing research into the determinants of IMF arrangements by investigating the extent to which different influences are at work in the case of different facilities. Focusing initially on extended arrangements as compared with stand-bys, the results indicate that although initially the facilities were used in different economic circumstances, since the mid-1980s these differences have largely disappeared. Instead the differences between user countries have become more political than economic. There are, however, some differences between concessionary and non-concessionary facilities beyond the income levels of countries using them. The policy implications for the range and design of the Fund’s lending windows are discussed.
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Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands

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Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands

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Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands

For many years analysis of IMF conditionality overlooked the extent to which it was implemented. However, more recently, increasing attention has been paid to implementation. Theoretical contributions have focused on the importance of special interest groups, but empirical evidence has failed to provide compelling support for the theory. Indeed, empirical studies have reported mixed results that sometimes seem to be conflicting. This chapter identifies a range of economic, political and institutional factors that may, in principle, influence implementation. Focusing in particular on the irreversible interruption of IMF programs, it tests an econometric model designed to capture these influences over 1992_2004 exploiting improved sources of data. The results suggest that significant determinants of interruption are trade openness, the existence of veto players and the amount of resources committed by the Fund. The chapter interprets the results, tests their robustness, briefly examines cases that initially appear to be inconsistent with the overall findings and discusses the implications of the results for policy.
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Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands