IMF and Social Indicators: A Story of Love or Hate?

  •  Panagiotis Kotsios    
  •  Vaios Kotsios    


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that was initiated in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference and formally created in 1945 by 29 member countries, in order to assist in the reconstruction of the world's international payment system post–World War II. The IMF presently has 188 member countries, and its stated goals are to ensure the stability of the international monetary and financial system, resolve crises and work with its member countries to promote growth and alleviate poverty. The tools that IMF uses are lending, economic surveillance, technical assistance and training, underpinned by research and statistics. During the years, the IMF has lent funds in various developing and developed countries around the world. IMF effectiveness, however, in achieving its goals is in question. There have been many cases of countries where the IMF has lent funds and people’s lives have actually gotten worse. Social indicators like health, education, employment, poverty and income inequality statistics can be used in order to test the validity of this statement. Consequently, the goal of the current article is to examine the course of social indicators in countries where the IMF has intervened, and assess its effectiveness in achieving its goals.

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