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 deals with liberalization and the evolution of output during the transition from plan to market. It explains why strong liberalization leads to a comparatively steep fall in output early in the transition, but a relatively strong recovery later on. Because it takes time to restructure the capital stock inherited from the old system, liberalization initially leads to transitional unemployment of capital and the contraction of the old enterprise sector. By making room quickly for the new, more efficient enterprises, however, liberalization also sets the stage for recovery and a much higher level of income in the medium term.