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.
Has the spread of democracy and political participation impeded the need for speed required by financial markets and the elevated threat of contagion across borders? We examine the time span between the onset of a financial crisis and the agreement on an IMF-supported adjustment program. This span appears to have decreased over time. More precisely, we find that the time from a crisis to the approval of a program has been smaller the more serious the crisis. Importantly, this responsiveness to a widening range of financial vulnerabilities has increased with growing financial integration. Democracies, particularly those with checks and balances, have been sensitive to time pressures.