The IMF's Unmet Challenges
AbstractThe International Monetary Fund is a controversial institution whose interventions regularly provoke passionate reactions. We will argue that there is an important role for the IMF in helping to solve information, commitment, and coordination problems with significant implications for the stability of national economies and the international monetary and financial system. In executing these functions, the effectiveness of the IMF, like that of a football referee, depends on whether the players see it as competent and impartial. We will argue that the Fund's perceived competence and impartiality, and hence its effectiveness, are limited by its failure to meet four challenges—concerning the quality of its surveillance (of individual countries, groups of countries, and the global system); the relevance of conditionality in loan contracts; the utility of the Fund's approach to debt problems; and the Fund's failure to adopt a system of governance that gives appropriate voice to different stakeholders. These problems of legitimacy will have to be addressed in order for the IMF to play a more effective role in the 21st century.
CitationEichengreen, Barry, and Ngaire Woods. 2016. "The IMF's Unmet Challenges." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 30 (1): 29-52. DOI: 10.1257/jep.30.1.29
- F33 International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
- F42 International Policy Coordination and Transmission