The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper finds that reforms introduced by the IMF to promote transparency have created more informed markets and reduced borrowing costs for those emerging market countries that volunteered for them. Using a quarterly panel estimation with fixed country effects, we find that sovereign spreads fall following the adoption of three different transparency reforms. The effects are economically important, especially for those countries with low initial transparency. We use two-stage least squares to address any endogeneity in the timing of reforms exploiting internal IMF timetables that are unrelated to country events. Next, using a panel GARCH specification, we show that spreads move more than normal in the days immediately following publication of IMF country documents.