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The IMF-Supported Programs of Poland and Russia, 1990-1994: Principles, Errors and Results


  • Stanislaw Gomulka


The paper discusses four IMF-supported adjustment programs of Poland, 1990-1995, and two of Russia, 1992-1994, in terms of the underlying theory, policy objectives, assumptions, policies, errors and results. The paper suggests that the roles of the IMF and the World Bank have been helpful but, compared to the influence of domestic factors and local refomers, relatively modest. Transition-related features of the programs are the focus of the analysis. The specific topics include the choice of nominal anchors, the speed of disinflation, the choice of performance criteria, and the role of foreign economic assistance. The primary objective of this paper is to discuss the IMF-supported adjustment programs of Poland and Russia in terms of the underlying theory, policy objectives, explicit and implicit assumptions, proposed policies, major errors in assumptions and policies, and actual results. Throughout this discussion, the intention is to identify the influence of systemic features and transition circumstances. The analysis suggests that the roles of the IMF and the World Bank have been helpful but, compared to the influence of domestic factors and local reforms, relatively modest. Part I of the paper provides a discussion of the broad policy objectives, common and separate, of the authorities of Poland, Russia and the two Bretton Woods Institutions, the IMF and the World Bank. Part II outlines the theory underlying the standard IMF adjustment programs. Part III collects and discusses what according to this author have been the major errors in assumptions and policies. The aim is to identify the origins and the implications of those errors. Part IV provides an analysis of the actual adjustment programs. The major feature of this analysis is the discussion of aims and results of the various programs. Finally, Part V addresses the issue of the role of foreign financial assistance in transition economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stanislaw Gomulka, 1995. "The IMF-Supported Programs of Poland and Russia, 1990-1994: Principles, Errors and Results," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0036, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0036

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William Easterly & Paulo Vieira Cunha, 1994. "Financing the storm: macroeconomic crisis in Russia 1," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 2(4), pages 443-465, December.
    2. Wyplosz, Charles, 1993. "After the honeymoon: On the economics and the politics of economic transformation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 379-386, April.
    3. Schaffer, Mark, 1993. "The enterprise sector and emergence of the Polish fiscal crisis, 1990-91," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1195, The World Bank.
    4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1994. "Transition in Poland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1169-1177, September.
    5. Portes, Richard, 1994. "Transformation Traps," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1178-1189, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pasquale Tridico, 2012. "Varieties of Capitalism and Development in Transition Economies Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(3), pages 90-128.
    2. Milan Nikolic, 2002. "Russia and the IMF: Pseudo Lending for Pseudo Reforms," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 6, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
    3. Pasquale Tridico, "undated". "The Enlargement Of The European Union To Eastern Europe: Ten Years After," Working Papers 0011, ASTRIL - Associazione Studi e Ricerche Interdisciplinari sul Lavoro.
    4. Marek Dabrowski, 2001. "Currency Crises in Emerging Markets - Selected Comparative Studies," CASE Network Reports 0041, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Bodó, Péter, 1996. "Az ügynökprobléma néhány aspektusa az átmeneti gazdaságban
      [Some aspects of the agent problem in the transition economy]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(4), pages 342-349.
    6. Marek Dabrowski & Stanislaw Gomulka & Jacek Rostowski, 2001. "Whence reform? A critique of the stiglitz perspective," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(4), pages 291-324.
    7. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1997. "On the Role of Banks in Enterprise Restructuring: The Polish Example," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 44-64, February.

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    Poland; Russia; IMF; World Bank;


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