Institutions | About Us | Help | Gaeilge
rian logo

Go Back
The catalytic effect of IMF lending: evidence from sectoral FDI data
Breen, Michael; Egan, Patrick J. W.
Our study contributes to the search for the elusive catalytic effect of International Monetary Fund (IMF) lending on inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI). Recent scholarship has found that the catalytic effect is conditional on political regime and program stringency. We contribute to this literature by developing and testing a theory which describes how the catalytic effect also varies by economic sector. This is a departure from existing studies, which have tended to focus on aggregate FDI flows after crises. Our findings corroborate previous research, which find that in general IMF lending has a substantial and negative effect on foreign direct investment. However, we find that the negative effect is concentrated in sectors that are highly dependent on external capital and have low sunk costs in the host country. Our findings are robust to several alternative explanations common in IMF literature, namely the importance of IMF program design and the ability of governments to make credible commitments to reform. Substantively, our findings suggest that investors are more likely to use IMF lending as an escape hatch in countries where FDI is dependent on external capital and has low sunk costs.
Keyword(s): Economic policy; Economics; Globalization; International relations; Political science; IMF; foreign direct investment; international political economy; catalytic finance; financial crises
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): Breen, Michael ORCID: 0000-0002-5857-9938 <> and Egan, Patrick J. W. (2019) The catalytic effect of IMF lending: evidence from sectoral FDI data. International Interactions . ISSN 0305-0629
Publisher(s): Taylor & Francis
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):,
First Indexed: 2019-05-11 06:05:59 Last Updated: 2019-05-11 06:05:59