The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

International Financial Institutions (IFIs)

  • John Toye
Reference work entry


The International Monetary Fund was established to manage international payments post-Second World War. The gold exchange standard re-established current account convertibility in the industrialized nations and oversaw rapid growth of international trade. After that standard collapsed in 1971 the IMF ran stabilization programmes for developing countries, with mixed success. The World Bank was set up to provide medium-term loans at concessional interest rates for (post-war) reconstruction and to develop capital-poor areas. In 1979 it initiated programme lending with conditions to promote economic adjustment. Conditionality has been under-enforced but increasingly loans go to countries that show commitment to liberal economic reforms.


Baker Plan Bretton Woods agreement Capital account controls Conditionality Convertibility Fixed exchange rates Floating exchange rates Gold exchange standard International capital flows International Development Agency (IDA) International financial institutions International Monetary Fund Keynes, J.M. Mexican debt crisis 1982 Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) World Bank 

JEL Classifications

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Akyuz, Y. 2002. Reforming the global financial architecture: Issues and proposals. Geneva: UNCTAD.Google Scholar
  2. Boughton, J. 2001. Silent revolution: The international monetary fund, 1979–89. Washington, DC: IMF.Google Scholar
  3. Buira, A., ed. 2005. The IMF and the World Bank at Sixty. London: Anthem Press.Google Scholar
  4. Ferreira, F., and L. Keely. 2000. The World Bank and structural adjustment: lessons from the 1980s. In The World Bank: Structure and policies, ed. C. Gilbert and D. Vines. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Kapur, D., J. Lewis, and R. Webb. 1997. The World Bank: Its first half century. volume 1: History. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  6. Killick, T. 1985. The quest for economic stabilization: The IMF and the Third World. Aldershot: Gower.Google Scholar
  7. Killick, T. 1995. IMF programmes in developing countries: Design and impact. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Krueger, A. 1998. Whither the World Bank and the IMF? Journal of Economic Literature 36: 1983–2020.Google Scholar
  9. Mallaby, S. 2005. Saving the World Bank. Foreign Affairs 84(3): 75–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mosley, P., J. Harrigan, and J. Toye. 1995. Aid and power: The World Bank and policy-based lending. Vol. 1. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Ritzen, J. 2005. A chance for the World Bank. London: Anthem Press.Google Scholar
  12. Skidelsky, R. 2000. John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain 1937–1946. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  13. Stiglitz, J. 2002. Globalization and its discontents. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  14. Toye, J., and R. Toye. 2004. The UN and global political economy: Trade, finance and development. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Woods, N. 2001. Making the IMF and the World Bank more accountable. International Affairs 77: 83–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Toye
    • 1
  1. 1.