The CMEA countries are starting to conduct their trade at world prices and in convertible currencies. These are crucial steps in economic reform but will worsen Eastern Europe’s terms of trade and drive it into current account deficit with the U.S.S.R. Proposals have been made for a payments union, resembling the European Payments Union of 1950–58, to ease the transition. Such an arrangement would not function well if it included the U.S.S.R., which would be a persistent creditor. Other ways must be found to deal with the transition.
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
This paper presents calculations of the efficiency with which value-added taxes are collected in five transition economies in Central and Eastern Europe. Actual VAT revenues in 1994 are compared with those that would have resulted if the statutory VAT rates had been applied without any revenue leakage. The five countries fall into two broad groups, one exhibiting relatively high collection efficiency, and the other relatively low efficiency. While lack of detailed information on tax rules and consumption patterns makes definitive conclusions difficult, the impact of exemptions is shown to likely strengthen the comparative results.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.