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.
In countries such as the Soviet Union, where wealth is mainly stored in monetary assets, the behavior of the money to income ratio is a poor indicator of the growth of undesired monetary balances (monetary overhang). In those countries a monetary overhang is primarily a wealth overhang, which has to be analyzed by evaluating deviations of actual from desired wealth holdings; this requires an empirical analysis of consumption and saving decisions. In this paper, we present estimates of a consumption function for the Soviet Union, from which an evaluation of the monetary overhang existing at the end of 1990 is derived.