Distinguishing Reality from Rhetoric
AbstractIncreasing 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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