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 estimates the output gap in Russia using a utilization-adjusted production function approach, which we argue is preferable to traditional output gap methods. The approach amounts to (1) using available surveys to estimate the "natural rates" of capacity and labor utilization above which inflation begins to accelerate; (2) estimating a production function with utilization-adjusted capital and labor inputs; and (3) defining potential output as the level of output obtained when both capital and labor are at their estimated natural rates. The results suggest that the output gap in Russia was negative between 1999 and 2003, but may have recently become positive, thus contributing to inflationary pressures.