HOW CAN WE BETTER UNDERSTAND THE IDEOLOGY OF WASHINGTON CONSENSUS?

It can be argued that 1989 was a great twelvemonth for universe history.A The autumn of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of the terminal of the Eastern bloc.A This gave rise to Francis Fukuyama to reason about the “ terminal of history. “ A The evident victory of capitalist economy has led to alterations in the economic policy followed since so, affecting all the states of the universe.

The new economic policy, known as A«Washington ConsensusA» , consisted of a bundle of 10 structural alteration taking to accomplish full liberalisation of planetary markets from any ordinances which existed until then.A The credence of this model by international organisations and by the authoritiess of the universe, were about consentaneous. The economic policy followed literally the guidelines of the international organisations to accomplish the aims laid down by the alleged “ Washington Consensus. ” This survey aims to better understand the political orientation of “ Washington Consensus ” , by analysing its ideological theoretical background, how it is structured and functioned. Besides by analysing the unfavorable judgment received from assorted schools and finally its empirical pattern through assorted illustrations.

Ideological construction and map of “ Washington Consensus ”

The argument around the term “ Washington Consensus ” was created in 1989 by John Williamson ( Williamson ( 2004b ) ) .A The term was introduced at a clip when the sovereignty of Keynesian economic theory had collapsed – after the crisis of the mid ’70s and the evident inability of Keynesianism to confront it, neoliberalism ( promoted by the Reagan and Thatcher authoritiess in the U.S.A and Britain, severally ) have become the new orthodoxy.

The intent of Williamson was to codify that portion of the neo-liberal analysis and policy proposals have become normally accepted in the theory of development and particularly in the circles of major development establishments ( chiefly the IMF and World Bank ) based in Washington.A Consequently, the term “ Washington ” refers to influential circles and establishments based in Washington.A And the term “ consensus ” refers to that portion of the neo-liberal prescriptions have become widely accepted.

There is another dimension to the geographical term “ Washington Consensus ” .A Such policy prescriptions were created chiefly to the economic systems of Latin America in the 90s, but so distribute elsewhere in the development and least developing world.A Again harmonizing to Williamson ( 2000, s.251 ) , the term refers to “ the lowest common denominator of policy advice addressed by the Washington-based establishments in Latin America since 1989.A Williamson ( 1990, 2000, s.252-3 ) summarizes these policy prescriptions in 10 suggestions:

1 ) Enforce Fiscal Discipline

2 ) Redirection of public disbursement precedences to other countries.

3 ) debut of revenue enhancement reforms that would cut down the per centum revenue enhancement load and broaden the revenue enhancement base.

4 ) Release rates

5 ) Competitive Exchange Rate

6 ) Trade Liberalization

7 ) liberalisation of FDI influxs

8 ) Denationalization of state-owned endeavors

9 ) deregulating of economic activities

10 ) Make a safe environment in footings of belongings rights

The theoretical foundations of these proposals can be discovered easily.A It is usual analysis promoted by the neo-liberal economic theory.A Economies in crisis due to the being of barriers to the free drama of market forces.A The obstructions come from the bloated Keynesian interventionist province and its expansionist and redistributive policies that distort the information and market signals.A The solution, harmonizing to neo-liberal order, would be the backdown of province from the economic system and reconstructing the unimpeded operation of the market.A We must therefore impose financial subject on the activities of authorities and a return to balanced budgets ( as opposed to the Keynesian shortages and expansionary budget ) .A Limited public disbursement now should be directed towards countries that would cover the costs ( possibly through the infliction of compensatory payments ) and to back up entrepreneurship in the private sector instead than being used to pay for public plants and redistributive policies.A Then, the revenue enhancement system should be reformed so as non to hit difficult corporate net incomes and incomes of the upper beds, which are considered to be the engine of the economy.A Finally, the limited public outgo could be met with fewer taxes.A Furthermore, the operation of the fiscal system must be freed from the bonds of authorities and rights and allowed the free drama of market forces.A Consequently, the rate should be determined more or less competitive.A The backdown of the province of the economic system besides requires the denationalization of all activities and concerns were run and owned by the province, cut down to a lower limit all province ordinances and supply equal confidence that there will be no misdemeanors of any rightsA belongings ( as had happened antecedently with the nationalisations, etc ) .A With the coming of 2nd coevals of neoliberal theories, which stressed the openness of economic systems, the old set of policy proposals, supplemented by three others that were aimed at liberalising international trade, capital motions and fiscal activities.A Consequently, protective steps should be removed and set up free trade.A I besides had to guarantee the free motion of international capital investment.A And last in the series but non in importance is that international economic minutess and, chiefly, the rate of the currency should be determined harmonizing to market regulations instead than province policies.

All these thoughts were already good established as orthodoxy in developed states in the 80s.A The Washington Consensus aimed at presenting these thoughts in developing and least developed countries.A Harmonizing to Williamson, it seems that there was some sort of planetary apartheid, under which developing states came from a different universe that allowed them to profit from ( a ) rising prices ( so they can roll up revenue enhancements and increase investing ) ( B ) the chief function of the province at the beginning of industrialisation and ( degree Celsius ) the permutation of imports.A The Washington Consensus aimed to interrupt this distinction.

However, there is a strong unfavorable judgment against the policies of Washington Consensus. These unfavorable judgments come from the Orthodox economic sciences ( Atkinson,1999 ) , Rodrik ( 2003 ) and particularly from a watercourse associated with the work of J. Stiglitz ( 1998 ) every bit good as Marxist political economic system ( Fine ( 2001 ) and Shaikh ( 2003 ) ) . An of import point in this contention was the very definition of the term “ Washington Consensus ” . For about all critics of the term was synonymous with liberalismA and a unsighted market fundamentalism. Williamson ( 2000 ) made a lame effort to support his term that it was non his purpose to specify the word so near to neoliberalism. He claimed that he simplyA codified the term “ consensus ” within the major establishments in Washington and that it was a technocratic version, free of ideological and political motivations. He besides claimed that the “ Washington Consensus ” was non even a policy prescription, but merely a list of policiesA Reform, which supports the old position and agrees that during the debut of the term these two coincided ( Williamson ( 2000 ) .

Despite his statements he can non contend that the “ Washington Consensus ” has a specific ideological and political background: that of neo-conservative policies of the last one-fourth of the twentieth century.A In add-on, the Washington Consensus may non stand for a simple set of policy proposals.A It is clearly a anchor on which a edifice is built.A This is accepted even by Williamson when he argues that there are three large thoughts behind the Washington Consensus: macroeconomic subject, market economic system and the gap of economic system ( at least on trade and foreign direct investmentA ) .A The macroeconomic subject of “ Washington Consensus ” is a peculiar type and has specific precedences that distinguish it from other types of macroeconomic policies.A It surely has nil to make with either Keynesian macroeconomic policies, macroeconomic policies or other more extremist directions.A In about all instances led to implemented rigorous asceticism budgets and policies that favored the richest and worsened the place of the lower societal strata.A The same thing applies in relation to the force per unit area on both the acceptance of the construct of market economic system and the thought of opening up the economy.A The first comes from the neoconservative gaining control of the economic system of the function of the province and the alleged inability to decently pull off the economic system. The second has the same beginning as the first and complemented by the belief that it will take to increased competition and therefore will finally profit consumers.A The “ Washington Consensus ” is a way ordering a policy prescription and so, legion reform plans imposed – volitionally or unwillingly – in the lupus erythematosus developed or developing states.

There is besides an intense argument about whether the Washington Consensus has promoted the development of developing and least developed economic systems or not.A Today there is a widespread belief that it failed and led to crisis and misery.A

After the first old ages of execution of policies and reforms of the “ Washington Consensus ” has been a turning feeling among friends and between enemies, holding failed in its promises.A More specifically, since the late 90s onwards, the “ Washington Consensus ” was confronting serious troubles on assorted issues, which although non included in the declared aims, but it is critical to the development procedure. It was criticized for neglecting to form a procedure of accommodation “ human face ” and therefore to do societal unrest.A Furthermore, it was criticized for neglecting to do important advancement in the growing rates of developing economic systems, particularly in development. Series of surveies suggest that its policies have led to increased poorness and inequality both between developed and developing states and least developed economic systems and within countries.A Furthermore, the evident inability of developing and least developed economic systems to catch up with the gait of economic growing in developed states and in many instances increasing the spread between them, was attributed to the policies that were motivated by the “ Washington Consensus ” .

For about everyone who react critically, argue for the inability of the “ Washington Consensus ” to turn to issues of poorness and inequality.A “ Washington Consensus ” theory was that poorness and inequality jobs were minor jobs, which reasonably much would be eliminated one time the market was free to work, undisturbed by the barriers of uneffective province intervention.A In peculiar, it was considered that if the domestic markets were free from any obstructions, so the free motion of capital, domestically, but particularly internationally will supply all the inducements and efficiency necessary for a sustainable development ( Kozul-Wright & A ; Rayment ( 2004 ) .

Against these returns from the premise of market fundamentalism, most practicians review indicates that during the last 20 old ages of the twentieth century after the execution of policies of “ Washington Consensus ” and the structural alterations that are implied there was anA evident addition in poorness and inequality ( Chossudovsky, 1997 ) .A Critics from the watercourse of Marxist political economic system give rise to these phenomena in the category nature of the ‘Washington consensus ‘ , ie it is a set of policies promoted by the capitalist involvements and farther the involvements of large imperialist powers.A Some Orthodox critics argue that the advocators of the “ Washington Consensus ” dainty merely the alleged traditional causes of inequality ( such as concentration of population in these districts, the domination of natural resources, unequal entree to instruction, and urban prejudice ( pricing policies, allotment of public disbursement and investing, etc. ) .A For them, while such traditional factors were clearly responsible for the aggregation of a few high-income observed in the late fifties and 70s, and in keeping these inequalities badly over the following two decennaries, they can non ( with the possible exclusion in some countries of educational inequality ) explain the widespread addition in inequality that occurred during the twenty old ages of execution of the “ Washington Consensus ” policies.

Critics of the “ Washington Consensus ”

Two chief watercourses can be distinguished on the critical rating of the “ Washington Consensus ” .A The first comes from the neo-classical economic theory but besides assess the negative impact of the “ Washington consensus ” and besides inquiries of the analytical framework.A This watercourse is the statement of “ post-Washington consensus. “ The 2nd watercourse comes from the Marxist and extremist political economic system, which non merely assesses the negative impact of the “ Washington consensus ” , but besides traveling to a wholly different analytical and ideological way.

The place of “ Post-Washington Consensus ” raised by Joseph Stiglitz in 1998 and is the most ambitious effort to work out the jobs of the “ Washington consensus ” within the dominant economic theory.A What distinguishes it from other reviews of the “ Washington consensus ” based on the dominant economic theory is that it is markedly critical of the yesteryear and that is based on a diversified analytical attack – surely within the model of neoclassical economic theory – that of “ economicinformation.A For Stiglitz ( 1989 ) , there is perfect information, as it assumes the dominant neoclassical view.A Alternatively, there are dissymmetries of information that allow the being of dealing costs and market imperfections.A Consequently, the definition of free market expands and the statements about the demand for province intercession in order to extenuate these strengthened.A This is straight opposed to the “ Washington Consensus ” , where the province is non considered as a restorative force.Contrasted good with the old Keynesian policies of monolithic authorities intervention.Early resistance to the Keynesian “ Washington Consensus ” frequently accept the footings of the last argument, Internet Explorer put the province towards the market and favorite province intercession on the footing of either wrong monetary value, picking victors, or steering the private sector through public spending.A Alternatively, the Stiglitz ( 199e, p.25 ) can non be a return to old Keynesian policies, but the province should concentrate entirely on what he calls basic rules, viz. economic policies, appropriate ordinance, industrial policy, societal protection, A basic instruction, wellness, substructure, jurisprudence and order, protect the environment.A That inquiry is non whether the province should or should non interfere in the economic system, but instead the inquiry is how to acquire involved.A The chief statement is that the province is non power against the market but complementary market.

In this alternate analytical attack is based on the “ New Economics of Development ” ( Nobel Prize ( 2001 ) ) and “ Post-Washington Consensus, stressing the history and institutions.A Through its accent on the establishments seeking to reconstruct the societal dimension in the analysis as a means to turn to and perchance rectify the imperfections.A They besides aim to distinguish themselves from the old-style Keynesian statism.

For Stiglitz ( 1994, 1998a, 1998b ) the “ Washington Consensus ” fails because the mere liberalisation of markets is non sufficient for normal map, peculiarly in developing countries.A The being of information dissymmetries that prevent markets from expeditiously allocate resources, and deficiency of incorporate and effectual institutional systems to extenuate these dissymmetries are the causes of failure.A Consequently, development policy must take non merely to markets but besides to institutions.A In this regard, “ Post-Washington Consensus ” portion the same docket with its predecessor but with some important modifications.A The remotion of limitations and controls on markets and international capital mobility, denationalization should be done through an orderly and gradual procedure, taking into history the specific historical and societal situations.A An indispensable portion of this procedure is the creative activity of new institutional regulative models that can steer, right and command the market.A In add-on, more infinite will be given to the exercising of discretion and the exercising of active policies.A Above all, Stiglitz rejects the unitary focal point of the “ Washington Consensus ” to contend rising prices and set as precedence the stabilisation of production and publicity of long-run growing ( through preparation, engineering transportation and assorted other channels are ignored byA the Washington Consensus ) .A Finally, it emphasizes the function of the fiscal system ( which considers the “ encephalon ” of the economic system ) and argues that the end should be a liberalized economic system but suitably regulated and expeditiously.

In this visible radiation the “ Washington Consensus ” is a vehicle for the chase of imperialist domination by the developed capitalist economic systems ( and chiefly the U.S. ) on developing and least developed countries.A All these policies promote the specific involvements of these economic systems, promoted by the alleged globalisation.

Consequently, Shaikh ( 2004 ) disagrees with the position that trade and fiscal liberalisation promotes growing, such as the “ Washington Consensus ” believe.A As an empirical observation, the economic systems that are now developed in the yesteryear have used consistently protectionist trade and active fiscal policies to accomplish this place and, in many instances, still follow today.A Besides, as even protagonists of Orthodox economic accept ( Rodrik 2001 ) has shown that political liberalisation does non take to higher rates of economic growth.A Consequently, the force per unit area for liberalisation favours developed states versus developing states by forbiding the latter to follow the way of the former.A Shaikh, besides argues that these unfortunate policies come from the incorrect Orthodox theory of “ comparative costs ” and argues that an attack based on classical theory of “ competitory advantage ” is analytically and through empirical observation superior.

Similarly, Fine ( 2002 ) criticized the “ Washington Consensus ” because it intentionally neglects the critical facets of the development procedure to advance the neoliberal reforms that promote the involvements of dominant capitalist economies.A Fine argues that “ Washington consensus ” is portion of the same “ imperialist ” attempt by the Orthodox economic sciences to colonise the Fieldss ( as the theory of economic growing ) , which until now remained unaccessible countries.

On policy issues, the Marxist economic experts argue that markets are non a factor for stableness and equality, but alternatively are factors of instability and that free competition is increasing poorness and inequality.A This is particularly true for fiscal liberalisation and international capital mobility, which – as reaffirmed by the experience of the 90s – has increased the fiscal instability within the state and caused the balance of payments crises.A Furthermore, the increased importance of fiscal factors absorbs resources which could hold increased end product and employment and additions in non-productive mode outputs of money market brokers.A Finally, they argue that unchecked competition leads to the concentration and centralisation of capital and therefore the creative activity of national and international monopolies, which impose their involvements on the poorest and least developed economies.A Finally, this procedure leads to increasing disparities between the economic systems, in contrast to the Orthodox beliefs.A In footings of domestic economic system, the policies of the “ Washington Consensus ” lead to a negative income distribution ( for the benefit of the wealthier categories ) since shed the load of accommodation on the poorer categories and consistently gnaw the bargaining power of workers ( through increasedA pay flexibleness, cut down regulative models that protect labour and the worsening existent minimal pay ) .A The negative income distribution is compounded even further with the denationalization ( which makes it dearly-won to supply public services ) and the eroding of the redistributive function of the province ( through the retrograde alterations in revenue enhancement and cuts in public disbursement ) .

The crises:

These jobs were highlighted for treatment and accent was given to them in the mid 90s after a series of crises in the underdeveloped universe: the 1994-5 Mexican alleged “ crisis of TequilaA» , the Asiatic crisis of 1997, the alleged Russian “ vodka crisis “ of 1997-9, the Brazilian crisis of 1998 and eventually the Argentine crisis of 2000.In all these instances, the policy prescriptions of the ‘Washington consensus ‘ blamed as these crises have occurred while these states implement their policies and structural reforms.A A common characteristic of all these instances that resulted in exchange rate crises.A However, it is besides true that each instance had its ain particular features.

In the first instance of Mexico, the jobs caused by seeking to open the economic system and to present economic liberalization.A This led to the prostration of the peso and the impairment ( in footings of evaluation ) of the Mexican debt. Mexico was the first state to subscribe the Flexible Credit Line of IMF, which cooperated with the USA Treasury for a loan of 30 billion given in 1995. As a consequence of the reforms imposed, the figure of Mexicans populating below poorness exceeded by 50 % and the minimal pay fell by 20 % . In instance the Asiatic crisis was caused by attempts to accommodate to an international environment consistent with the demands of the “ Washington Consensus ” and at the same time to reform the internal construction of economic systems from the Asian development theoretical account towards the prescription of “ ConsensusA Washington.A The crisis was once more in the signifier of the exchange rate crisis and led to the disconnected forsaking of these reforms.A The Russian instance is different because it comes from the passage of a centrally planned economic system to a market economy.A The policy reforms through accommodation daze, opening the economic system and the turning importance of fiscal sector, made it vulnerable to infective disease results of the Asiatic crisis.A This caused the prostration of the stock market, uninterrupted devaluation of the ruble, and eventually the suspension of convertibility.A The Brazilian instance was the effort to present economic liberalisation made throwing stick doing the crisis.A The infliction of subject by airting public outgo to other sectors and reform the revenue enhancement system to the criterions of the “ Washington Consensus ” demolished the Brazilian fiscal and revenue enhancement revenue-raising system.A This once more led to an exchange rate crisis.A Finally, the instance of Argentina, covering all characteristics recipes “ Washington Consensus ” .A It began with an ambitious program to convey the budget, trade and pecuniary reform, and proceeded to make a currency board to keep a fixed exchange rate of the peso against the dollar, ie the fond regard of the peso to the U.S. dollar on a one to one. These reforms have created serious jobs in the economic system and resulted in the largest autonomous debt default in modern history.