Western Hemisphere > Venezuela

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Aliona Cebotari, Enrique Chueca-Montuenga, Yoro Diallo, Yunsheng Ma, Rima A Turk, Weining Xin, and Harold Zavarce
The paper explores the drivers of political fragility by focusing on coups d’état as symptomatic of such fragility. It uses event studies to identify factors that exhibit significantly different dynamics in the runup to coups, and machine learning to identify these stressors and more structural determinants of fragility—as well as their nonlinear interactions—that create an environment propitious to coups. The paper finds that the destabilization of a country’s economic, political or security environment—such as low growth, high inflation, weak external positions, political instability and conflict—set the stage for a higher likelihood of coups, with overlapping stressors amplifying each other. These stressors are more likely to lead to breakdowns in political systems when demographic pressures and underlying structural weaknesses (especially poverty, exclusion, and weak governance) are present or when policies are weaker, through complex interactions. Conversely, strengthened fundamentals and macropolicies have higher returns in structurally fragile environments in terms of staving off political breakdowns, suggesting that continued engagement by multilateral institutions and donors in fragile situations is likely to yield particularly high dividends. The model performs well in predicting coups out of sample, having predicted a high probability of most 2020-23 coups, including in the Sahel region.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper presents the 2023 Article IV consultation and Request for an Arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) with The Gambia. The ECF-supported program aims to strengthen