Posted by: Dirk | September 23, 2011

Is the IMF changing?

The Internal Evaluation Office of the IMF has reported:

Third, there is a widely held perception that IMF research is message driven. About half of the authorities held this view, and more than half of the staff indicated that they felt pressure to align their conclusions with IMF policies and positions. Policy recommendations provided in some research publications did not follow from the research results, and a number of country authorities and researchers noted that IMF research tended to follow a pre-set view with predictable conclusions that did not allow for alternative perspectives. This detracted from the quality and credibility of studies and reduced their utilization.

Now, more heretical interesting stuff is posted by the IMF. Take a look:

In recent work we discovered that when growth is looked at over the long term, the trade-off between efficiency and equality may not exist. In fact equality appears to be an important ingredient in promoting and sustaining growth. The difference between countries that can sustain rapid growth for many years or even decades and the many others that see growth spurts fade quickly may be the level of inequality. Countries may find that improving equality may also improve efficiency, understood as more sustainable long-run growth.

This article, I hope, is the result of newfound academic freedom on part of the researchers. While the OECD has been stubbornly provided recommendations of austerity, the IMF seems to come around towards the new macroeconomic consensus – open thinking, no bias.

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