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

  • Stanislaw Gomulka
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    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.

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    Paper provided by CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research in its series CASE Network Studies and Analyses with number 0036.

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    Length: 35 Pages
    Date of creation: 1995
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0036
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    1. 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.
    2. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1994. "Transition in Poland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1169-77, September.
    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. Portes, Richard, 1994. "Transformation Traps," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1178-89, September.
    5. 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.
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