The international monetary fund and the Chilean Chicago boys, 1973-7: Cold ties between warm ideological partners

Claudia Kedar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This article unveils the hitherto overlooked tensions between Chile and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the formative years of the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (from September 1973 to late 1977). This article shows that ideological affinity between the IMF and Pinochet’s economic team of ‘Chicago Boys’ did not necessarily guarantee fruitful cooperation between the parties. The analysis of this intricate relationship sheds new light on the processes of economic neoliberalization that were conducted in Latin America, with different levels of IMF involvement, between the 1970s and the 1990s. By challenging axiomatic and simplistic approaches of IMF-Latin American relations, this article provides a unique prism to reconsider not only the IMF’s motivations and constraints, but also the proactive modus operandi of its borrowing member-states.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)179-201
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Contemporary History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to acknowledge the editors Richard Evans and Mary Neuburger and the two anonymous readers provided by the Journal of Contemporary History for their thoughtful insights and recommendations. Many thanks to the staff of the IMF Archives, and most especially to Premela Isaac. I would like to extend my gratitude to friends and colleagues that commented on different versions of this article, especially to Raúl García Heras, Fray Hochstein, Arie Kacowicz, Alexandre (Sandy) Kedar, Rory Miller, and Atalia Shragai. This research was supported by the ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (grant No. 273/14).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.


  • Augusto Pinochet
  • Chicago Boys
  • Chile
  • Cold War
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Neoliberalization


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