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International negotiations in the shadow of national elections

Rickard, Stephanie J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7886-9513 and Caraway, Teri L. (2014) International negotiations in the shadow of national elections. International Organization, 68 (3). 701 - 720. ISSN 0020-8183

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0020818314000058


This study examines the role elections play in negotiations between states and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Although loans made by the IMF often require countries to introduce painful austerity measures that provoke a backlash from angry citizens, some governments are able to negotiate more favorable terms than others. Original data on the substantive content of IMF loans show that governments leverage imminent elections to obtain more lenient loan terms. Conditions that require labor market reforms in exchange for IMF financing are relatively less stringent in loans negotiated within six months before a pending democratic election, all else equal. The further away elections are from loan negotiations, the more stringent the labor conditions included in countries’ loan programs. Elections give governments leverage in their international negotiations and this leverage is effective even when states negotiate with unelected bureaucrats during times of economic crisis.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The IO Foundation
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2014 15:33
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:53

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