By Shekhar Aiyar and Manasa Patnam
Recent research suggests that World Bank aid disbursements are associated with outflows from recipient countries to offshore financial centres, indicating elite capture of aid. This column uses 25 years of data to examine whether the same is true for IMF lending. It finds no evidence that IMF loans are diverted to offshore bank accounts. This could be because IMF lending differs in structural respects – such as conditionality, concessionality, and continuity – from World Bank aid.