Confronting the Contradictions: The IMF, Wage Bill Caps and the Case for Teachers

This paper builds on previous research and new in-depth country case studies from Malawi, Mozambique, and Sierra Leone. It finds that a major factor behind the severe teacher shortage in these countries is that IMF policies have forced governments to freeze or curtail teacher recruitment. While the IMF’s influence varies from country to country regarding the precise funding level for wages of public-sector employees, the IMF contributes to teacher shortages by insisting on overly restrictive macroeconomic policies that unnecessarily constrain overall government spending and thus constrain sector budgets and employee wages.

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