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Capital mobility and the output-inflation tradeoff

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  • Loungani, Prakash
  • Razin, Assaf
  • Yuen, Chi-Wa

Abstract

A common feature for developing countries that have experienced a sharp drop in inflation without large output losses is the extensive use of capital controls. This study shows that capital controls significantly improve the sacrifice ratio. This element contributes to the explanation of small output losses during disinflations, in addition to the high inflation mean and large nominal output variability in the pre-stabilization phase. A useful concept for disinflation episodes is the sacrifice ratio; the percentage decline in the rate of unemployment with 1% fall in the rate of inflation. The lower this ratio the less painful is disinflation. The new classical approach, pioneered by Lucas (1973), emphasized the variability of nominal GNP growth as a main determinant of the trade-off. The argument is based on the real-nominal confusion of price and output setters, so that agents will be more likely to treat shocks as nominal when the variability of nominal GNP increases. In contrast, the new Keynesian approach, as in Ball, Mankiw and Romer (1988), emphasized the menu costs determinants of the trade-off. That is, in the presence of fixed costs of changing prices, the Phillips curve is expected to be steeper, the higher is the expected rate of inflation, since with higher expected inflation and more frequent price changes, nominal shocks will have smaller real effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 64 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 255-274

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:64:y:2001:i:1:p:255-274

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  1. Bartolini, Leonardo & Drazen, Allan, 1997. "When liberal policies reflect external shocks, what do we learn?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 249-273, May.
  2. David Romer, 1991. "Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Papell, David H., 1988. "Expectations and exchange rate dynamics after a decade of floating," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 303-317, November.
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  8. Addison, John T. & Chappell, Henry Jr. & Castro, Alberto C., 1986. "Output-inflation tradeoffs in 34 countries," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 353-360, December.
  9. DeFina, Robert H, 1991. "International Evidence on a New Keynesian Theory of the Output-Inflation Trade-Off," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 410-22, August.
  10. Davide Fiaschi, 1996. "Fiscal policies and growth," Working Papers 261, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  11. Assaf Razin & Andrew Rose, 1992. "Business Cycle Volatility and Openness: An Exploratory Cross-Section Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Vittorio Grilli & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 1995. "Economic Effects and Structural Determinants of Capital Controls," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(3), pages 517-551, September.
  14. Alberro, Jose, 1981. "The Lucas hypothesis on the Phillips Curve : Further international evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 239-250.
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