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.
Jeronimo Zettelmeyer, Jonathan Ostry, and Olivier Jeanne
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
We present a framework that clarifies the financial role of the IMF, the rationale for conditionality, and the conditions under which IMF-induced moral hazard can arise. In the model, traditional conditionality commits country authorities to undertake crisis resolution efforts, facilitating the return of private capital, and ensuring repayment to the IMF. Nonetheless, moral hazard can arise if there are crisis externalities across countries (contagion) or if country authorities discount crisis costs too much relative to the national social optimum, or both. Moral hazard can be avoided by making IMF lending conditional on crisis prevention efforts-"ex ante" conditionality.