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 explains the IMF approach to economic stabilization. It argues that a Fund-supported program is a process, comprising six broadly defined phases, that evolves along a multiplicity of potential pathways. The paper discusses the three-pronged approach to stabilization at the core of all IMF-supported programs, stresses the iterative character of “financial programming,” and explains the rationale for setting quantitative performance criteria for fiscal and monetary policy in IMF-supported arrangements. A main theme is that IMF-supported programs contain a great deal of flexibility to respond both to differences in circumstances and to changes in conditions in individual cases.