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.
In the late 1980s Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago found themselves in severe economic difficulties. Their ensuing economic strategies were all market-based, featured fiscal contraction and trade liberalization, multilateral support loans and, later on, tax and financial sector reforms. However, exchange rate, monetary and public sector wage policies varied greatly. Choice of exchange rate regime was not as fundamental to successful stabilization as was fiscal action, complemented by, but without undue reliance on, monetary policy. The policies employed to reduce debt and to diversify the economic bases also help t lessen vulnerabilities to future economic shocks.