Monday, July 27th
Richard Clark (Columbia), Bargain Down or Shop Around? Outside Options and IMF Conditionality*
When do overlapping international organizations (IOs) serve as credible outside options to one another? Utilizing an original dataset on cooperation among IOs in the emergency lending space, I find that exit options are only credible when IOs compete as opposed to cooperate with one another. While the literature frames the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a monopoly organization, I show that it increasingly competes with Regional Financing Arrangements (RFAs). When RFAs compete with the IMF, they become credible forum shopping destinations that member states can leverage in negotiations over conditional lending at the Fund. I first offer original descriptive analysis of patterns of cooperation among these IOs. I then hypothesize that as states become members of competitive IOs, but not cooperative institutions, they ought to receive less intrusive conditionality from the IMF. A series of regressions lend support for my theory, as do supplemental interviews and text analysis.