The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper analyzes budgetary subsidy policy issues that arise when centrally planned economies move toward a market economy. The analysis suggests that subsidy reduction, to be successful, has to be embedded into an overall economic reform program and that during the program’s execution, former implicit subsidies are likely to become budgetized. Furthermore, additional pressure on the budget, caused by enterprise restructuring or the introduction of social safety net provisions, necessitates careful policy design. Comprehensive budgetary reform is required to prevent budgetary slippages during the transition process.