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 proposes an operational interpretation of the concept of economic governance. It argues that the capacity of governments to credibly ensure a secure economic environment provides an important benchmark against which governance can be evaluated. Such an environment—which is essential for sustained growth in a market economy—can be established through a rules–based system which ensures freedom of entry into the market, access to information, and sanctity of contracts. Since creating a secure economic environment involves profound, far–reaching social change, it has historically been a complex and lengthy process in most societies. However, basing policy prescriptions on this benchmark helps avoid possible conflicts between different social and moral values.