The IMF: The Right Remedy for Economically Stressed Countries? A Cross-Country Case Analysis of the IMF's Impact in Argentina, Ghana & Greece

Kristoffer Havskov Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established in 1944 and has since grown to become one of the most influential organizations in the world. This thesis contributes to the long-standing debate on the IMF’s impact on economically stressed countries by conducting a cross-country analysis on its impact of recent arrangements in Ghana, Argentina and Greece. I do so by assessing the macroeconomic, social and geopolitical impact of these three cases. In the literature review, I first present some of the most commonly heard pieces of criticism on the Fund’s macroeconomic, social and geopolitical impact, as well as theoretical tools that can be used to analytically assess the impact of the IMF’s involvement. Methodologically, this thesis conducts a mix between descriptive and explanatory study with a constructivist philosophical approach. I make use of both primary and secondary data. Primary data consists of a semi-structured interview with an employee at the Bretton-Woods Project and secondary data is key proxies on economic and social wellbeing for the three case countries. The results indicate that the macroeconomic and social impact of the IMF is very contingent on the context and economies involved. In Ghana - the developing country-case in this thesis - the IMF’s involvement caused a rise in gender inequality but showed positive macroeconomic results. In Argentina, gender equality has actually been on the rise since the Fund’s involvement but has yet to show positive economic outcomes. In Greece, the thesis outlines that there were some major social consequences of the IMF’s involvement. Other findings of the thesis suggest that the higher the outcome of the IMF-arrangement is to influential, Western governments represented in the IMF’s Board, the less of a saying will IMF staff have in the construction of the program. In the discussion, I outline further roads of research that can be conducted.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages87
SupervisorsLeonard Seabrooke