The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover 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 assesses changes in the size and scope of government in 24 transition economies. Whereas these governments have retrenched in terms of public expenditures in relation to GDP, as well as public employment as a share of population, some indicators suggest that size remains high (e.g., rising indebtedness, a heavy regulatory burden, and prevalence of noncash transactions). At the same time, the scope of government activities-although evolving-has not necessarily become appropriate. This paper provides some recommendations for aligning the scope of government with the increasing market orientation of these economies.