EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

IMF conditionality and central bank independence

Andreas Kern, Bernhard Reinsberg and Matthias Rau-Göhring

European Journal of Political Economy, 2019, vol. 59, issue C, 212-229

Abstract: This paper studies the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in promoting central bank independence (CBI). While anecdotal evidence suggests that the IMF has been playing a vital role for CBI, the underlying mechanisms of this influence are not well understood. We argue that the IMF has ulterior motives when pressing countries for increased CBI. First, IMF loans are primarily transferred to local monetary authorities. Thus, enhancing CBI aims to insulate central banks from political interference to shield loan disbursements from government abuse. Second, several loan conditionality clauses imply a substantial transfer of political leverage over economic policy making to monetary authorities. As a result, the IMF through pushing for CBI seeks to establish a politically insulated veto player to promote its economic policy reform agenda. We argue that the IMF achieves these aims through targeted lending conditions. We hypothesize that the inclusion of these loan conditions leads to greater CBI. To test our hypothesis, we use a recently available dataset on IMF programs that includes detailed information on CBI reforms and IMF conditionality for up to 124 countries between 1980 and 2012. Our findings indicate that targeted loan conditionality plays a critical role in promoting CBI. These results are robust towards varying modeling assumptions and withstand a battery of robustness checks.

Keywords: Central bank independence; Central bank reform; IMF; IMF loan conditionality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176268018304890
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:poleco:v:59:y:2019:i:c:p:212-229

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2019.03.002

Access Statistics for this article

European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

More articles in European Journal of Political Economy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().

 
Page updated 2020-05-02
Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:59:y:2019:i:c:p:212-229