Adverse selection and growth under IMF programs

Muhammet A. Bas, Randall W. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dominant approach to studying the effects of IMF programs has emphasized moral hazard, but we find that adverse selection has more impressive effects. We propose a novel strategic selection model to study the growth effects of IMF programs, which allows for the possibility of adverse selection. We find that adverse selection occurs: the countries that are most interested in participating in IMF programs are the least likely to have favorable growth outcomes. Controlling for this selection effect, we find that countries benefit from IMF programs on average in terms of higher growth rates, but that some countries benefit from participation, while others are harmed. Moral hazard predicts that long-term users of Fund resources benefit least from participating in programs, while adverse selection predicts the opposite. Contrary to previous findings, we find that IMF programs have more successful growth performance among long-term users than among short-term users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalReview of International Organizations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Growth
  • IMF
  • Strategic statistical models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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