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The impact of Bailouts on the probability of Sovereign Debt Crises: evidence from IMF-Supported Programs

This paper studies the role of IMF-supported programs in mitigating the likelihood of subsequent sovereign defaults in borrowing countries. Using a panel of 106 developing countries from 1970 to 2016 and an entropy balancing methodology, we find that IMF supported programs significantly reduce the likelihood of subsequent sovereign defaults. This finding is robust to different specifications of the entropy balancing and alternative identification strategies. Our results suggest that a country that signs a program with the IMF, typically experiences a slight improvement in its sovereign credit rating and a decrease in both government debt-to-GDP and fiscal deficit-to-GDP.