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.
Why is moving from moderate to low inflation almost always slow or costly? This paper answers this question, based on the Polish experience. First, reflecting the transition to a market economy, Polish inflation has been marked by significant changes in relative prices. Second, as wage and price indexation takes root, the inflationary effect of shocks to relative prices is magnified. Third, lagging structural reform, including the failure to extend hard budget constraints to all sectors of the economy, makes monetary policy less effective. Reduced money supply growth with structural reform offers the best prospect for moving to low inflation.