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.
An unexpected shortage of banknotes emerged during 1992 in the former Soviet Union. The cash shortage is explained by the asymmetry in the monetary union that prevailed, under which one member (the Russian Federation) controlled banknote production while every member could create deposit money. Interest rate rigidity forestalled an equilibrating adjustment in demand for banknotes. The possible efficiency costs of the cash shortage are explored.