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The Russian Financial Crisis and its Consequences for Central Asia

  • Gonzalo C. Pastor
  • Tatiana Damjanovic

This paper reviews the economic conditions in central Asia at the time of the Russian financial crisis of August 1998; the channels by which the crisis was transmitted to the central Asian region; and the policy responses. The paper concludes that, while real exchange rates of central Asian national currencies vis-Ã -vis the Russian ruble have returned to their pre-crisis levels following the nominal devaluations that ensued, other indicators of external competitiveness, such as unit labor cost indices, suggest the need for further surveillance in this area. Also, it is not yet clear if full exchange rate flexibility has been established in central Asia despite the protracted and costly exits from the nominal exchange rates in place at the time of the crisis. Finally, the debt-to-GDP ratios in central Asia, which grew rapidly between 1998 and 1999 in the context of large exchange rate adjustments, remain a challenge for the Tajik and Kyrgyz authorities, in particular.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 01/169.

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Length: 42
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/169
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  1. Natalia T. Tamirisa, 1999. "Exchange and Capital Controls as Barriers to Trade," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(1), pages 4.
  2. Hélène Poirson, 2001. "How Do Countries Choose their Exchange Rate Regime?," IMF Working Papers 01/46, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Holden, Paul & Holden, Merle & Suss, Esther C, 1979. "The Determinants of Exchange Rate Flexibility: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 327-33, August.
  4. Barry J. Eichengreen & Inci Ötker & A. Javier Hamann & Esteban Jadresic & R. B. Johnston & Hugh Bredenkamp & Paul R. Masson, 1998. "Exit Strategies; Policy Options for Countries Seeking Exchange Rate Flexibility," IMF Occasional Papers 168, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Collins, Susan M., 1996. "On becoming more flexible: Exchange rate regimes in Latin America and the Caribbean," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 117-138, October.
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