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Critically Evaluate the Effect That the Washington Consensus Had Upon Emerging Financial Markets in Terms of Their Economic Growth and Volatility of Their Stock Markets? How Should the Imf and World Bank Conduct Policy

In: Business and Management

Submitted By rhapsody
Words 1273
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The failed Washington Consensus of the 1900’s produced suboptimal results for the emerging markets in which it was adopted, which lacked sustained improvements to economic growth and also saw no benefit to market volatility. Subsequent to the Washington Consensus, three main alternative approaches have emerged. Of these, the most logical appears to be adopted a target approach, which focuses on the specific context of each country and alters variables gradually. This approach seems to best address the problems encountered with the Consensus.

The Washington Consensus, codified by John Williamson (1990) and informed by neoliberal theory, outlined ten specific economic policies aimed at stabilising, privatising and liberalising developing economies. It was believed that that this was the pathway to modernity for these nations (Rodrik, 2006). Specifically, Williamson (1990) recommended fiscal discipline, reorientation of public expenditures, tax reform, financial liberalisation, unified and competitive exchange rates, trade liberalisation, openness to direct foreign investment, privatization, deregulation, and secure property rights. The recommendations were heavily supported by The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the US Treasury. Indeed, nonconforming developing nations were put under significant pressure by the World Bank to adopt the recommendations (Rodrik, 2006).

Whilst the reforms advocated by the Washington Consensus have been widely implemented, the results have been poor. On the basis of economic growth, Latin America has performed below expectations and Sub-Saharan Africa has had only a few success stories. Moreover, in some countries in Africa, the reforms worsened the public health crisis (Rodrik, 2006). Reduced market volatility was one of the key expected outcomes of the Consensus, however the resilience demonstrated by first world...

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