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Do the IMF and World Bank promote autonomous Sovereign Debt Management?

As global financial markets develop, sovereign debt management requires an increasing degree of expertise and professionalism. The World Bank and the IMF have encouraged the professionalization of such management, but never explicitly advocated greater autonomy for Debt Management Offices (DMOs) from political decision-makers. This is surprising because autonomy is an important element of debt management professionalism, and because it is a credibility mechanism. This paper explores whether these institutions may be indirectly promoting DMO autonomy since 2000. We assembled a new country-year dataset of national debt management legislation for 75 democratic countries in the period 1950-2013. The dependent variable codes DMO autonomy from political decision-makers based on three ordered categories. Our main independent variable is World Bank and IMF potential for influence over countries. […]