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 compares the experience with exchange-rate–based stabilization (ERBS) of four Western European countries with that of high-inflation developing countries. In general, the behavior of key macroeconomic variables—inflation, output, demand, the real exchange rate and the current account—in the four countries examined did not correspond to the pattern observed in developing countries, although some resemblance to this pattern could be found in Italy in 1987–92 and Greece in 1994–96. The experience with ERBS in Western Europe highlights the importance of incomes policy as an ingredient of a successful stabilization program and shows that the adoption of a looser anchor does not necessarily reduce the output cost of disinflation.