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Inflation Dynamics and Trade Openness

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  • Aron, Janine
  • Muellbauer, John

Abstract

It is difficult to obtain reliable measures of evolving openness to trade, despite its relevance to models of growth, inflation and exchange rates. Our innovative technique measures trade openness encompassing both observable trade policy (tariffs and surcharges) and unobservable trade policy (quotas and other non-tariff barriers), and such factors as capital controls, sanctions and dual exchange rates (often used in composite trade measures). The share of manufactured imports in home demand for manufactured goods is estimated in STAMP (Koopman et al., 2000) using measured trade policy and controlling for fluctuations in domestic demand, relative prices of imports and the exchange rate. The unmeasured trade policy component is captured by a smooth non-linear stochastic trend. The two elements of openness, the stochastic trend and the rates of tariffs and surcharges, are included in a model of wholesale price inflation in South Africa. The evidence suggests that increased openness has significantly reduced the mean inflation rate and has reduced the exchange rate pass-through into wholesale prices.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6346.

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Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6346

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Keywords: inflation dynamics; modelling inflation; trade openness;

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References

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  1. Rose, Andrew K., 2004. "Do WTO members have more liberal trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 209-235, July.
  2. Wacziarg, Romain, 2000. "Measuring the Dynamic Gains from Trade," Research Papers 1654, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  3. 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.
  4. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1988. "A New Set of International Comparisons of Real Product and Price Levels Estimates for 130 Countries, 1950-1985," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Aron, Janine & Muellbauer, John, 2008. "Monetary Policy and Inflation Modeling in a More Open Economy in South Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 6992, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2009. "Some Issues in Modeling and Forecasting Inflation in South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2009-01, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Aron, Janine & Farrell, Greg & Muellbauer, John & Sinclair, Peter, 2010. "Exchange Rate Pass-through and Monetary Policy in South Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8153, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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