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Voters and the IMF: Experimental Evidence From European Crisis Countries

Published inComparative political studies, p. 1-32
First online date2023-10-13
Abstract

IMF interventions are often associated with rising political discontent in countries where the Fund intervenes. Studies examining this claim, however, face the challenge of disentangling the impact of the IMF from the impact of the crisis that triggered the intervention. To address this challenge, we conduct survey experiments in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain and directly assess how voters evaluate the costs and benefits of an IMF intervention. We find that voters believe that the crisis is more likely be solved when the IMF intervenes, but they are also critical of the corresponding loss of national sovereignty. Because the former consideration, on average, dominates their assessment, IMF interventions increase support of voters for unpopular economic policies. Nonetheless, cross-country differences suggest that continued public support for intervention hinges on the IMF's ability to deliver on its promise to help resolve the crisis.

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Citation (ISO format)
HÜBSCHER, Evelyne, SATTLER, Thomas, WAGNER, Markus. Voters and the IMF: Experimental Evidence From European Crisis Countries. In: Comparative political studies, 2023, p. 1–32. doi: 10.1177/00104140231204229
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ISSN of the journal0010-4140
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