The Review of International Organizations

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 359–393 | Cite as

Do IMF programs catalyze donor assistance to low-income countries?

  • Yasemin Bal GündüzEmail author
  • Masyita Crystallin


This study explores whether IMF-supported programs in low-income countries (LICs) catalyze Official Development Assistance (ODA). Based on a comprehensive set of ODA measures and using the Propensity Score Matching approach to address selection bias, we show that programs addressing policy or exogenous shocks have a significant catalytic impact on both the size and the modality of ODA. Moreover, for gross disbursements the impact is greatest when LICs are faced with substantial macroeconomic imbalances or large shocks. Results indicate a sharp difference between the responsiveness of multilateral and bilateral donors to programs. While multilateral donors significantly raise their gross and net disbursements to program countries, the aid allocation by bilateral donors, on both a gross and net basis, does not seem to be affected by programs.


IMF-supported programs Official development assistance (ODA) Catalytic impact Low-income countries (LICs) Propensity score matching Aid allocation Aid coordination Bilateral aid Multilateral aid 

JEL classification

F33 F35 F53 F63 O19 



The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees, Axel Dreher, Chris Lane, Catherine Pattillo, Olaf Unteroberdoerster, Marco Arena, Wendell Daal, Ermal Hitaj, Mumtaz Hussain, Paulo Lopez, Henry Moone, Nkunde Mwase, Saad Quayyum, Frank Dong Wu, seminar participants at the IMF, and OECD colleagues Brenda Killen, Elena Bernaldo de Quirós, Olivier Bouret, Andrzej Suchodolski for very helpful comments and suggestions. Merceditas San Pedro-Pribram, Liz Baxter, and Kathryn Norris provided excellent editorial assistance. The usual disclaimer applies.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Monetary FundWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.The World BankWashingtonUSA

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