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Why is Structural Adjustment So Unpopular?

June 3 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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A Panel Discussion on the 40th Anniversary of the First Structural Adjustment Loans

Sponsored by the 1818 Society History Thematic Group and the World Bank Library

Moderator: Shanta Devarajan

Panelists: (Please click HERE to read the biographies of the Panelists)

  • K. Y. Amoako
  • Nancy Birdsall
  • Richard Gregory
  • Paul Isenman
  • Cadman Mills
  • Martin Wolf

In 1980, the World Bank introduced a new lending instrument, a structural adjustment loan (SAL), which provided quick-disbursing funds to countries facing balance-of-payments difficulties. The loans were conditioned on policies and actions to correct structural weaknesses, such as distorted trade regimes, low tax revenues and wasteful public expenditures. Initially, SALs were viewed as necessary, not to say essential, in helping countries restore balance of payments equilibrium and resume economic growth. Yet, they quickly came under widespread criticism. Many economies, especially in Africa, did not grow rapidly and the conditions, such as cuts in import tariffs and public spending in health and education, were damaging to the poor. Forty years later, the criticism endures.

The purpose of the panel discussion is to hear from former World Bank staff who were involved in structural adjustment lending on the evolution of SALs and why they were so unpopular. The moderator will pose questions of each of the panelists, followed by a discussion among them and then with the audience.

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Meeting number: 157 321 0916
Password: Adjustment1

Details

Date:
June 3
Time:
11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Venue

(via WebEx Connection Only)

Organizer

1818 Society World Bank History Thematic Group