The IMF and the force of History : Ten Events and Ten Ideas that Have Shaped the Institution

Author/Editor:

James M. Boughton

Publication Date:

May 1, 2004

Electronic Access:

Free Download. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

The International Monetary Fund was designed during World War II by men whose worldview had been shaped by the Great War and the Great Depression. Their views on how the postwar international monetary system should function were also shaped by their economics training and their nationalities. After the IMF began functioning as an institution, its evolution was similarly driven by a combination of political events (Suez, African independence, the collapse of global communism), economic events (the rising economic power of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia), and trends and cycles in economic theory (the monetary approach to the balance of payments, new classical economics, the rise and fall of the Washington Consensus). As they happened, these forces had effects that were perceived as adaptations to current events and new ideas within a fixed institutional structure and mandate. The cumulative effect of history on the institution has been rather more profound and requires a longer and larger perspective.

Series:

Working Paper No. 04/75

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

May 1, 2004

ISBN/ISSN:

9781451849769/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA0752004

Format:

Paper

Pages:

25

Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org