Ratna Sahay

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2002Modern Hyper- and High Inflations
with Stanley Fischer, Carlos A. Vegh: w8930
Since 1947, hyperinflations (by Cagan's definition) in market economies have been rare. Much more common have been longer inflationary processes with inflation rates above 100 percent per annum. Based on a sample of 133 countries, and using the 100 percent threshold as the basis for a definition of very high inflation episodes, this paper examines the main characteristics of such inflations. Among other things, we find that (i) close to 20 percent of countries have experienced inflation above 100 percent per annum; (ii) higher inflation tends to be more unstable; (iii) in high inflation countries, the relationship between the fiscal balance and seigniorage is strong both in the short and long-run; (iv) inflation inertia decreases as average inflation rises; (v) high inflation is associated...

Published: Fischer, Stanley, Ratna Sahay and Carlos Vegh. "Modern Hyper- And High Inflations," Journal of Economic Literature, 2002, v40(3,Sep), 837-880. citation courtesy of

April 2000The Transition Economies After Ten Years
with Stanley Fischer: w7664
While output declined in virtually all transition economies in the initial years, the speed and extent of the recovery that followed has varied widely across these countries. The contrast between the more and less successful transitions, the latter largely in the former Soviet Union, raises many questions about the relative roles played by adverse initial conditions, external factors, and reform strategies. This paper summarizes the macroeconomic performance of the transition economies. We first review the initial conditions confronting these economies, the reform strategy that was proposed, and the associated controversies that arose a decade ago. We then account for the widely different outcomes, highlighting the role of exogenous factors and the macroeconomic and structural policies ad...


  • Orlowski, Lucjan T. (ed.) Transition and growth in post-communist countries: The ten-year experience. Cheltenham, U.K. and Northampton, Mass.: Elgar, 2001.
  • Stanley Fischer & Ratna Sahay, 2000. "The Transition Economies After Ten Years," IMF Working Papers, vol 00(30).

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