Assessing the Role of the IMF in South Korea during the Asian Financial Crisis
Lauren Rodier

The role of the International Monetary Fund in the Asian Financial Crisis that occurred in 1997 serves as an important case study of how international financial institutions can influence the economic and political interactions of a nation. This paper will outline the polices implemented by the IMF in their recovery package for South Korea, as well as provide discussion of both the positive and negative results of these policies. A brief outline of what the IMF represents and how they were involved in the Crisis is followed by a critical discussion of the positive and negative implications for South Korean economics, public and financial policies as a result of the IMF’s structural adjustment loans, such as its influence on employment, the housing market, domestic currency, loans and financial services. The paper concludes that while the IMF’s actions did help foster growth, it did so at a significant cost to the quality of life for many in South Korea.

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