The Lagarde Effect: Assessing Policy Change Under the First Female Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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Abstract

This paper uses a theoretical framework drawing on the literatures of feminist institutionalists and the literature on expertise provided by IOs to examine two areas in the IMF that we might expect to see change under a female Managing Director: increased gender equity among the professional and managerial staff economists at the IMF, and increases in programmes designed to improve women’s economic opportunities through the development of policies to increase female labour force participation. Evidence to support increased gender diversity among IMF staff economists as a result of Lagarde’s appointment is not found, confirming that informal rules in institutions reduce women’s access to positions of power. Increases in the number of IMF policy documents advocating the economic benefits of increased female labour force participation beginning in 2014 were found. These are attributed to Lagarde’s influence over policy documents and the adoption of the World Bank’s discourse on “gender equity as smart economics.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGlobal Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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