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 January 1992, Kazakstan initiated a reform program to move toward market-determined prices. The price liberalization process was characterized by large relative price shifts and an increase in the overall price level toward those observed in market economies. The paper shows how the piecemeal manner in which prices were liberalized resulted in strong relative price variability over a prolonged period of time, against a background of high inflation. Convergence toward international relative and absolute price levels has progressed but is not complete, with prices for energy and services in particular still below market economy level.