This paper uses cross-sectional, country-level data for the year 2000 to estimate the influence of IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) on inequality. A lagged measure of the level of loans relative to GDP is used to operationalize the size of SAPs instead of less precise measures used in previous research, such as the number of programs. The results cautiously indicate that SAPs increase inequality in the short-run and decrease it in the long-run. Furthermore, if interacted with GDP growth, it becomes evident that growth in a period of structural-adjustment is less pro-poor whereas contractions are less anti-poor.
Sander Florian Tordoir is film researcher at the television/documentary production company "de Haaien" in Amsterdam.