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.
Dollarization in Russia increased rapidly during the early 1990s, but failed to come down in the second half of the 1990s in spite of exchange rate stabilization. To explain this "dollarization hysteresis," this paper develops a model in which network externalities in the demand for currency can generate multiple stable steady states for the dollarization ratio. The model is estimated using a new source of data on dollar currency holdings in Russia. On the basis of these estimates, which confirm the existence of network externalities, the paper discusses several policies that could result in a permanent decrease in dollarization.