This paper attempts to cast light on the debate about the existence and size of a monetary overhang in household money balances in command economies. Four measures of shortage or price deformation are constructed for the Polish economy and used to test for the existence of “shortage” money balances in Poland 1965–1989. The approach involves estimating relationships for household money balances 1965–1993, a period that spans both central planning and the post-1990 period of liberalised prices. The principal finding is that the evolution of household money balances in Poland cannot be explained without invoking measures of shortage and an overhang during the planning period. The estimates suggest an overhang with a maximum of just over 40% of money balances.

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