Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Financial Economics


Economics and Finance

Major Professor

Hassan, M. Kabir; Mukherjee, Tarun

Second Advisor

Atsuyuki, Naka

Third Advisor

Davis, James R.

Fourth Advisor

Chandrasekaran, Aruna


The purpose of this paper is to observe and analyze whether the value system and political structure of a nation, gauged through its legal configuration, impacts its response to IMF debt and consequently impacts its GDP growth rates. This paper also analyzes whether involvement in the fund through a loan relationship affects the country’s real interest rate, inflation, exchange rate and import and export volume and whether this relationship is causal in that we can explain a nation’s loan relationship with the Fund through observance of the aforementioned variables. In this paper, we observe 34 emerging markets as defined by Dow Jones in 2010.

The general consensus of the literature is that participation in IMF loan programs retards the economic growth of developing economies. In light of this, the contribution of this paper is to illustrate that some of the slowed growth experienced by these countries seeking out IMF debt is explained by their value system and general attitude toward debt. To carry out a comparable analysis we segment and group the emerging markets based on their current credit status with the IMF (as of Oct 2012) as well as by the origin of their legal system, a measure we use to assess their value system with respect to creditor and debt protection laws. We will observe the growth rates that these countries’ economies experience categorized by their involvement with the Fund, the amount of their loan and whether they fully repaid their debt or are currently indebted to the Fund. We will also identify the size and frequency of the loan in order to observe the impact that these variables have on the delayed growth rates that they experience. Furthermore, we will examine the impact on their GDP growth rates, imports of goods and services, inflation, exchange rates and real interest rates. We expect to find that there is not a generic relationship between involvement in a loan relationship with the Fund and GDP growth rates. In other words, having a loan from the IMF does not directly result in delayed growth rates, contrary to popular belief. However, we hypothesize that the legal system of the borrowing countries is an explanatory variable in determining their growth rates, alongside their loan relationship with the Fund.

In addition, we expect to find empirical evidence that supports the claim that inappropriate and unmonitored involvement in the Fund can adversely affect emerging markets. Inappropriate and unmonitored involved is measured in this paper by the borrowers creditor and debtor protection laws. We aim to expand the current line of literature by analyzing whether a decline in economic growth prior to completion of an IMF loan program is a generic attribute of all participants or whether these traits are more pronounced in countries with a more unmonitored business and economic legal system.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.