Does the implementation of a World Bank structural adjustment agreement (SAA) increase or decrease government respect for human rights? Neoliberal theory suggests that SAAs improve economic performance, generating better human rights practices. Critics contend that the implementation of structural adjustment conditions causes hardships and higher levels of domestic conﬂict, increasing the likelihood that regimes will use repression. Bivariate probit models are used to account for World Bank loan selection criteria when estimating the human rights consequences of structural adjustment. Using a global, comparative analysis for the 1981–2000 period, we examine the effects of structural adjustment on government respect for citizens’ rights to freedom from torture, political imprisonment, extra-judicial killing, and disappearances. The ﬁndings show that World Bank SAAs worsen government respect for physical integrity rights.
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