This Working Paper is one of a series of drafts for a study currently under preparation at ODI with the provisional title of The IMF and Developing Countries: Its Role in the 1990s. The completed report will review developments in the 1980s; examine the Fund as a source of finance and issues in its lending policies; review the theory and practice of IMF policy conditionality and of heterodox alternatives to it; and explore the future role of the Fund.
This paper first examines the general moral hazard case against Fund lending. It then goes on to examine a series of more specific analytical issues associated with Fund lending. Most of the paper focuses on Fund lending through the General Resources Account and through various additional accounts designed especially for poorer countries, but, towards the end, there is some discussion of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) account.