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 identifies obstacles hindering the transformation of centrally-planned economies (CPEs) into well-functioning market economies. The obstacles identified relate to (i) anticipatory dynamics, (ii) monetary overhang and the budget, and (iii) underdeveloped credit markets. It is demonstrated that these obstacles inhibit the effectiveness of price reform, monetary and credit policies, and trade liberalization. The analysis focuses on various ways to remove the obstacles. In this regard, a special examination is made of the implications of “cleaning” the balance sheets of enterprises and banks from nonperforming loans, as well as ways to enhance credibility. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of sequencing, “safety nets,” and their associated obstacles.