ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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IMF's Autocritique of Neo-liberalism?

In a recent article published in Finance and Development, an International Monetary Fund magazine, three economists have critically evaluated the policies the IMF promotes. They acknowledge evidence that suggests that economic growth under neo-liberalism is difficult to sustain, that it leads to an increase in inequality, and that continuing inequality is harmful for sustainable (or continuing) growth.

A group of three economists in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) research department have written a joint paper criticising some key aspects of IMF’s creed of neo-liberalism. Since it is only “some” aspects that are criticised, it may be more appropriate to call it semi-autocritique. However, the significance of this even less than full-fledged criticism cannot be overstated. It is as significant as it would be if one day, a group of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologues were to write in Organiser that some aspects of Hindutva politics are harmful for the Hindus, or a group of Chinese Communist Party leaders were to write in People’s Daily that some aspects of the party’s programme had harmed the cause of communism.

The paper titled “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” by Jonathan Ostry, Prakash Loungani and Davide Furceri in the June 2016 issue of IMF’s official magazine Finance and Development brings out for the first time the flavour of the internal debates raging at the IMF, and builds upon many well-known criticisms of IMF’s policy paradigms of market fundamentalism that advocates privatisation, deregulation, market liberalisation, and austerity policies.

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