Beyond the IMF Medicine: Thailand's Response to the 1997 Financial Crisis

Shalendra D. SHARMA*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


From the summer of 1997 through summer 1999, Thailand's economy took a steep plunge into recession and economic collapse. Only in the third-quarter of 1999, did the economy give signs of a fragile, if hesitant recovery. Almost immediately the International Monetary Fund(IMF) took credit, arguing that its policies and programs were finally producing results. How valid is this claim. This paper argues that the IMF policies by itself cannot explain the recovery. Indeed, if the Thai government continued to follow the IMF's orthodox prescriptions, it would have dragged the economy further into crisis. Rather, it is argued that the Chuan administration deserves much credit for the recovery. By rejecting some of the IMF's mis-guided policies and by its effective management of the crisis, the Chuan government laid the basis for a gradual and sustained recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-49
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Area Studies Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

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