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CLIFFORD ZINNES, YAIR EILAT, and JEFFREY SACHS

This paper seeks to clarify what factors contributed to the macroeconomic gains and losses from privatization in transition economies over the past decade. In contrast to the original “Washington Consensus,” which had a tendency to equate change-of-title with privatization, we find that economic performance gains come only from “deep” privatization, that is, when change-of-title reforms occur once key institutional and “agency”-related reforms have exceeded certain threshold levels. We also find that as a result of different initial conditions the economic performance responses of countries to the same policies are different.

International Monetary Fund
This Joint Staff Advisory Note discusses the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) Second Progress Report for the Republic of Tajikistan. The progress report presents a comprehensive assessment of the nature and dynamics of poverty from various sources and perspectives, and recognizes the challenges ahead for continued progress in reducing the number of people living in poverty. The report fully acknowledges that the poor quality, reliability, and timeliness of statistics for monitoring progress in poverty reduction are owed to the lack of capacity to collect and analyze data and to the weak coordination between state agencies.
Mr. Jeffrey M. Davis
This paper reviews the uneven record of fiscal performance in the states of the former Soviet Union since independence. Deficits have come down rapidly, an important contribution to stabilization. Given, however, the unexpectedly severe revenue decline and limited financing, the stabilization was reached by sharp cuts in expenditure. The cuts were abrupt and not focused on transition goals, and the instruments used vitiated normal budgetary processes. Hence, benchmarks of fiscal success other than stabilization are elusive. Government intervention and subsidies remain important, social spending is inefficient, and there is little evidence in the budget of restructuring.
Mr. Tapio Saavalainen and Joy Mylène ten Berge
Quasi-fiscal deficits of public utility companies are common in all member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). They constitute a significant impediment to efficient resource allocation and endanger macroeconomic stability. This paper presents a simple framework for measuring and monitoring such deficits and highlights their macroeconomic relevance. It reviews the progress under IMF conditionality aimed at correcting these imbalances during 1993-2003. The paper suggests that the extensive conditionality under the IMF-supported programs has yielded only limited progress in reducing the energy sector's financial imbalances. In conclusion, different policy options are discussed in light of the lessons learned.