IMF Programs and Financial Flows to Offshore Centers

Author/Editor:

Shekhar Aiyar ; Manasa Patnam

Publication Date:

May 26, 2021

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

This paper examines whether IMF lending is associated with increases in outflows to offshore financial centers (OFCs), known for bank secrecy and asset protection, relative to other international destinations. Using quarterly data from the BIS on bilateral bank deposits, we are unable to detect any positive and statistically significant effect of IMF loan disbursements on bank deposits in OFCs. The result holds even after restricting the sample to the duration of the IMF program, where disbursement quarters and non-disbursement quarters should be subject to similar degrees of macroeconomic stress. It is also robust to using the scheduled tranche of disbursements as an instrument for actual disbursements. While the effects vary by the type and conditionality of the IMF program, as well as the amount of lending, none of the effects are found to be positive and statistically significant. We also estimate whether the recent surge in emergency lending, during the Covid-19 crisis, is associated with an increase in outflows to OFCs but find no evidence to support this.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2021/146

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

May 26, 2021

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513573540/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2021146

Pages:

31

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