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Lessons from the heterodox stabilization programs

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  • Kiguel, Miguel A.
  • Liviatan, Nissan
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    Abstract

    This paper draws lessons from the advantages and disadvantages of the heterodox stabilization approach in chronic high inflation countries. Heterodox stabilization programs make temporary use of some income policies - price and wage controls - to support orthodox policies. Heterodox programs were successfully tried in two chronic high inflation countries, Israel and Mexico. In both cases these programs were followed by a second, more orthodox stage and included the use of the exchange rate as the nominal anchor. While the programs succeeded, both experienced costs in the form of an appreciation of the real exchange rate and high real interest rates. The main lessons from the experiences as analyzed by the authors are : 1) the initial, rapid reduction in inflation at the beginning of heterodox programs is the easy part; the difficult part is to maintain price stability over time; 2) income policies in heterodox stabilization programs are only justified in high chronic inflation countries (with annual rates of inflation above 100 percent) where inflationary persistence is more pervasive and problematic; 3) there is a case for a larger fiscal adjustment in heterodox programs because of the risk that a government that starts with price controls could be confused with one that tries to achieve price stability without adjusting; and 4) a heterodox program that fails is likely to lead to a large amount of inflation instability.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 671.

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    Date of creation: 31 May 1991
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:671

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    Related research

    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Stabilization; Insurance&Risk Mitigation; Insurance Law;

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    1. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Edwards, Sebastian, 1990. "Macroeconomic populism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 247-277, April.
    2. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    3. Bruno, Michael & Fischer, Stanley, 1990. "Seigniorage, Operating Rules, and the High Inflation Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 353-74, May.
    4. Cardoso, Eliana A & Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1987. "Brazil's Tropical Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 288-92, May.
    5. Helpman, Elhanan & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1988. "Stabilization in high inflation countries: Analytical foundations and recent experience," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 9-84, January.
    6. Blejer, Mario I. & Cheasty, Adrienne, 1988. "High inflation, heterodox stabilization, and fiscal policy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(8), pages 867-881, August.
    7. Rudiger Dornbusch & Mario Henrique Simonsen, 1987. "Inflation Stabilization with Incomes Policy Support: A Review of the Experience in Argentina, Brazil and Israel," NBER Working Papers 2153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Foxley, Alejandro, 1980. "Stabilization policies and stagflation: The cases of Brazil and Chile," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(11), pages 887-912, November.
    9. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1983. "Staggered Contracts and Exchange Rate Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rates and International Macroeconomics, pages 235-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kiguel, Miguel A., 1989. "Inflation in Argentina : stop and go since the Austral plan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 162, The World Bank.
    11. Malan, Pedro S. & Bonelli, Regis, 1977. "The Brazilian economy in the seventies: Old and new developments," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 19-45.
    12. Eliana Cardoso, 1989. "The Macroeconomics of the Brazilian External Debt," NBER Chapters, in: Developing Country Debt and the World Economy, pages 81-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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