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Inflation in South Africa: An Assessment of Alternative Inflation Models

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  • Johannes Fedderke
  • Yang Liu

Abstract

We consider the relative empirical performance of a range of inflation models for South Africa. Model coverage is of Phillips curve, New Keynesian Phillips curve, monetarist and structural models of inflation. Our core findings are that the single most robust covariate of inflation is unit labour cost. We further decompose unit labour cost into changes in the nominal wage and real labour productivity. The principal association is a strong positive relationship between inflation and nominal wages, while improvements in real labour productivity report only a relatively weak negative association with inflation. Supply‐side shocks also consistently report an association with inflation. As to demand‐side shocks, the output gap does not return a robust statistical association with inflation. Instead, it is growth in the money supply and government expenditure which return robust and theoretically consistent associations with inflationary pressure.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Fedderke & Yang Liu, 2018. "Inflation in South Africa: An Assessment of Alternative Inflation Models," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 86(2), pages 197-230, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:86:y:2018:i:2:p:197-230
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/saje.12192
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    Cited by:

    1. Alain Kabundi & Asi Mbelu, 2018. "Has the Exchange Rate Pass‐Through changed in South Africa?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 86(3), pages 339-360, September.

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    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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