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IMF and World Bank: Institutional Set-up, Criticisms and Challenges

  • The two Bretton Woods Sisters – International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank – have been key actors in the international political economy since their inception in 1944. While the IMF was established to support national economies during rather short-term, macroeconomic crises, the World Bank has had a more long-term focus on development and economic growth. In pursuit of their goals, both institutions’ instrumental repertoire includes the provision of information, surveillance, technical assistance and training, policy advice, and – arguably most importantly – lending to those countries that have limited or no access to private capital markets. In this paper, I critically analyse the Bretton Woods sisters’ institutional set-up, their objectives and instruments. Further, various criticisms and challenges of the multilateral system are discussed, including the economic policy conditions imposed on borrowing countries, the Western-dominated governance structure and the under-representation of major emerging economies such as China and India.

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Author:Rainer Hillebrand
Series (Serial Number):Discussion Papers in Business and Economics (21)
Document Type:Working Paper
Date of Publication (online):2017/12/07
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Fulda
Release Date:2017/12/11
GND Keyword:Bretton Woods; IMF; World Bank; global financial architecture; multilateralism
Licence (German):License LogoEinfaches Nutzungsrecht

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