Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in International Studies


International Studies


The purpose of this paper is to examine the World Bank's structural adjustment lending program during the 1980s and 1990s and evaluate its impact on the population. In a time of massive debt, the World Bank used structural adjustment to reform the economic systems of nations facing a balance-of-payment crisis. While the goal of structural adjustment was to create economic growth and maintain a nation's debt payments, the actual impact of the World Bank's policies were far more expansive and damaging. Instead of helping indebted nations, the policies advocated by the World Bank led to economic hardship, social unrest, poor health, and environmental destruction. In response to these failings, the World Bank modified its adjustment lending polices; but even these measures do not go far enough. A more recent overhaul of adjustment lending finally appears to have rectified the failings of previous adjustment policies, but only time will tell.

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