The International Monetary Fund has been criticised from both the right and the left of the political spectrum with the right arguing that it is too interventionist and creates more problems than it solves and the left on occasion demanding that it be abolished altogether. What seems almost beyond question is that the IMF needs to be reformed.
Defining a future role for the IMF will always be a controversial issue, but vital to any considerations will be a measured assessment of how it has operated in the past. This excellent new book from an internationally respected expert on the IMF intends to do just that. Starting with an historical background tracing the evolution of the IMF, the book goes on to cover such themes as:
*The circumstances under which countries turn to the IMF
*The various aspects of IMF conditionality
*Institutional issues such as lending facilities and how the fund is resourced.
Bringing together an array of articles, this excellent new book will undoubtedly be required reading for anyone with a serious interest in development studies as well as being an eye-opening read for policy makers involved with the IMF.
Table of Contents
1. A Case for Treatment: Understanding the Ongoing Debate about the IMF 2. Borrowing from the IMF: The Policy Implications of Recent Empirical Research 3. IMF Lending: How is it Affected by Economic, Political and Institutional Factors? 4. IMF Programmes: Do They Work? Can They Be Made to Work Better? 5. The Effectiveness of Conditionality and the Political Economy of Political Reform: Is it Simply a Matter of Political Will? 6. IMF Programmes: Is There a Conditionality Laffer Curve? 7. The Credibility and Signaling Effect of IMF Programmes 8. The IMF's Role in Mobilising International Capital: Is There a Catalytic Effect? 9. Restructuring the IMF's Lending Facilities 10. Resourcing the Fund: Direct Borrowing from Private Capital Markets 11. Crisis Averter, Crisis Lender, Crisis Manager: The IMF in Search of a Systemic Role 12. The IMF and Developing Countries: A Review of the Evidence and Policy Options 13. The Political Economy of the IMF: A Check List of the Issues 14. The Political Economy of the SDR: The Rise and Fall of an International Reserve Asset
Graham Bird is Professor of Economics at the University of Surrey
'The IMF and the Future will interest anyone who seeks to understand the complexities of the IMF role in the world economy and is prepared to live with the dismalness of economic science ... it is an excellent survey of the policy choices and problems that pushed the IMF in the direction it is moving today.' - James M. Boughton, Times Higher Education Supplement