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Making and breaking monetary policy rules: the experience of African countries

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  • Dominique Guillaume and David Stasavage
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    Abstract

    This paper analyses the experience with rule-based monetary policy in African countries which have participated in monetary unions (CFA Franc Zone, Eastern African Currency Board and Rand Monetary Area). We show that African countries have generally lacked the domestic political institutions which would allow individual governments to tie their hands by establishing such rules. Monetary unions have proved to be an alternative possibility for credible commitment to sound macroeconomic policies, but only in cases where exit from a union is made costly by the provision of side-payments (or sanctions) in other areas of regional co-operation, and only when governance structures have been designed so as to maximise chances for the enforcement of monetary rules. We conclude by making suggestions about the design of African monetary unions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/1999-02.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jan 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/1999-02

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    1. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
    2. Bayoumi, Tamim & Ostry, Jonathan D, 1997. "Macroeconomic Shocks and Trade Flows within Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for Optimum Currency Arrangements," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 412-44, October.
    3. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
    4. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
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    6. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
    7. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-76, October.
    8. Stasavage, David, 1997. "The CFA Franc Zone and Fiscal Discipline," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(1), pages 132-67, March.
    9. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
    10. Cobham, David & Robson, Peter, 1994. "Monetary integration in Africa: A deliberately European perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-299, March.
    11. Deaton, Angus & Miller, Ron, 1996. "International Commodity Prices, Macroeconomic Performance and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 5(3), pages 99-191, October.
    12. Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981, December.
    13. Atta, J K & Jefferis, K R & Mannathoko, I, 1996. "Small Country Experiences with Exchange Rates and Inflation: The Case of Botswana," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 5(2), pages 293-326, June.
    14. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
    15. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1998. "Troubles with the Neighbours: Africa's Problem, Africa's Opportunity," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(1), pages 120-42, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ethan Kapstein & Nathan Converse, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," Working Papers 85, Center for Global Development.
    2. Kapstein, Ethan & Converse, Nathan, 2006. "The Economics of Young Democracies: Policies and Performance," MPRA Paper 553, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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