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Researching the International Monetary Fund (IMF)


This guide serves as a basic research tool for documents and statistics of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The guide is not comprehensive, nor are all IMF publications freely available on the web. For additional publications consult OskiCat (the catalog of the UC Berkeley library) and Melvyl (the catalog for all the UC campuses and other research collections in the state).

See also the IMF Publications homepage for an effective search engine for publications listed below.


IMF Publications


Annual Report of the Executive Board
. Overview of IMF activities each year with detailed fiscal data of IMF operations in the appendices.

Article IV Staff Reports. Country surveillance reports conducted by IMF missions teams on an ongoing basis for all member states, and reports made in response to states' requests to borrow funds. Not all reports are made public.

Country Policy Intention Documents. Documents prepared by countries outlining policy intentions for use of Fund resources or staff-monitored programs. Includes several subseries: policy framework papers, poverty reduction strategy papers, etc.

Country Information. Rich source of information by country: see especially the statistical appendices.

Economic Issues. Non technical papers written on economic research being conducted by the IMF.

Finance and Development. Quarterly magazine of the IMF with articles and book reviews on topics in international economics, finance, and economic development.

Global Financial Stability Report
. Biennial report focusing on international capital markets and other market issues: investment banks, securities firms, hedge funds, insurance companies, pension funds, etc. Preceded by International Capital Markets.

IMF Economic Review. Peer review journal (UCB access only) dedicated to publishing academic research on macroeconomics, global economic policies, open economy macroeconomics, international finance and trade.

IMF Research Bulletin. Key components of research done at the IMF and with a listing of research documents and activities.

IMF Staff Papers
. Economic journal issued three times a year focusing on theoretical and empirical analysis of macroeconomic issues. Suceeded in 2010 by the IMF Economic Review.

IMF Survey. Topical newsletter on IMF activities in the context of world economic and financial developments.

IMF Working Papers. Large series of papers dating from 1997 on a wide range of topics: balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity etc.

Policy Discussion Papers. IMF non-technical papers in the areas of policy design: designed for persons outside the IMF interested in policy issues.

World Economic Outlook. IMF survey usually published twice a year, presenting IMF staff economists' analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term. Includes an extensive statistical appendix.


IMF Conditionality

One of the most frequent criticisms of the IMF is the practice of "conditionality" where by the Fund imposes policy reforms on countries as a condition for receipt of IMF loans and debt relief packages. The following sources are designed to provide the researcher with a starting point for research on this topic.

Article IV Staff Reports. Country surveillance reports conducted by IMF missions teams on an ongoing basis for all member states, and reports made in response to states' requests to borrow funds. Not all reports are made public.

Country Policy Intention Documents. Documents prepared by countries outlining policy intentions for use of Fund resources or staff-monitored programs. Includes several subseries: policy framework papers, poverty reduction strategy papers, etc.

IMF Factsheet on Conditionality. The IMF's explantion and definition of the practice see also the IMF Factsheet on Surveillance.

Monitoring of Funds Database (MONA). Comprehensive database covering the economic objectives and outcomes of Fund-supported programs including quantitative and structural conditionality.


IMF Data & Statistics

AREAER: Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions. Tracks exchange and trade arrangements for IMF countries providing a comprehensive description of all exchange and trade systems. Country chapters include information related to restrictions on international payments, transfers, and multiple currency practices subject to the IMF's jurisdiction. Also provides information on the structure and setting of exchange rates, arrangements for payments and receipts, the operation of the foreign exchange markets, and controls on international trade.

Balance of Payments Statistics
.
Presents balance of payments statistics for approximately 160 countries and international investment position data for 35 countries. Includes aggregate data on financial derivatives & foreign direct investment.

Direction of Trade Statistics. Annual & quarterly aggregate international trade data for approximately 250 countries from 1980 to present. NOTE: for data from 1948 to 1980 please consult the Direction of Trade Statistics Historical CD ROM, available from any Berkeley library public workstation.

Government Finance Statistics. Offers detailed revenues and expenditures for different levels of government for many nations. Please see the ICPSR data set for earlier years of this data. Consult with the library data lab for file format conversions.

International Financial Statistics. Includes data on exchange and interest rates, balance of payments, government finance, national accounts, prices, foreign reserves, and much more. Recommended: use the economic concept view in connection with the print IFS Yearbook for best results.

Note for all of the above: If the countries/variabels displayed seems wrong, another user's settings have been saved by the database. To obtain access to all the data, go to the "options" tab, click "restore to system default settings" and then click "save settings for future sessions."


International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity. Re-disseminates IMF member countries' data on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity in a common template and in a common currency (the U.S. dollar).

World Economic Outlook Databases. Selected macroeconomic data series from the World Economic Outlook report, which presents IMF analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, major country groups and individual countries.