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Political Economy of Neoliberal Market Reforms: Examining the implementation of neoliberal reforms in developing countries

  • Author(s): Wiley, Brian Thomas
  • Advisor(s): Smith, David A
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation examines the implementation of neoliberal market reforms in developing countries in the global periphery from 1980-2005. Using a mixed-methods approach of OLS and logistic regression, as well as fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) this dissertation seeks to answer two main questions: 1) How impactful is conditional lending in getting countries to implement neoliberal market reforms? 2) What are the different pathways to neoliberal market reform? In response to these questions, I develop a new theoretical framework based on literature from global political economy, and various political and institutional approaches to reform. This theoretical framework focuses on the ideological motivation for reform, the capability to enact reform, and the opportunity to implement these reforms. I use this framework to examine the role of IMF conditional lending in promoting neoliberal market reforms around the world and how pressure from conditional lending is shaped by local political, economic, and institutional forces. I find that, in accordance with global political economy scholars, IMF conditionality plays a large role in the implementation in neoliberal market reforms, while ideology and capability are less impactful. I also find that economic crises do play a role in the implementation in neoliberal reforms. In general, though it seems that there is a need to further explore the factors that affect the adoption of reforms and gather a more complete data set than what is currently available.

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