IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

New currencies in the Former Soviet Union: a recipe for hyperinflation or the path to price stability

Listed author(s):
  • Chris Melliss
  • Mark Cornelius
Registered author(s):

    This paper describes the break-up of the rouble zone after the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 and the opportunities and risks involved in establishing separate currencies in the new republics of the FSU. Fundamental disagreements about the desirable pace of economic reform, together with the need for radical changes in the pattern of economic activity, greatly weakened the case for retention of a single currency. Also, by mid-1993, the reformers in Russia had realised that continued use of the rouble by the republics weakened the authorities' ability to control monetary developments. The introduction of new currencies in countries lacking experience of economic policy making is bound to be a messy and uncertain process. The paper discusses the policy choices involved, in particular the appropriate exchange rate regime and the possible role for a currency board as a way of giving monetary policy credibility at an early stage in the transition. It concludes that bringing the fiscal position under control should be the first aim of policy for these countries. In the absence of bond markets deficits will tend to be money financed and the choice of exchange rate regime, by itself, is probably of second-order importance. The paper concludes with seven case studies, including the Baltic States and the Ukraine. When the paper was written, some republics had inflation rates of 25% a month or more, and there seemed little prospect of a rapid fall. In fact performance has generally been rather better than then seemed likely. The main reasons for this seem to have been the absence of a 'flight-from-money' typical of Latin-American hyperinflation. Fiscal deficits have been kept under reasonable control, probably as a result of external pressure.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 26.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Sep 1994
    Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:26
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH

    Phone: +44 (0)171 601 4030
    Fax: +44 (0)171 601 5196
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Hans Genberg, 1991. "On the Sequencing of Reforms in Eastern Europe," IMF Working Papers 91/13, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Kent Osband & Delano Villanueva, 1993. "Independent Currency Authorities: An Analytic Primer," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(1), pages 202-216, March.
    3. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1992. "Monetary problems of post-communism: Lessons from the end of the Austro-Hungarian empire," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 128(3), pages 391-424, September.
    4. Fry, Maxwell J & Nuti, Domenico Mario, 1992. "Monetary and Exchange-Rate Policies during Eastern Europe's Transition: Some Lessons from Further East," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 27-43, Spring.
    5. Collier, Paul & Joshi, Vijay, 1989. "Exchange Rate Policy in Developing Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 94-113, Autumn.
    6. Bomhoff, Eduard J., 1992. "Monetary reform in Eastern Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 454-458, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Digital Media Team)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.