Reaching One-Digit Inflation: The Chilean Experience
The main purpose of this paper is to analyze the process by which Chile was able to reduce inflation during the 1990s. In this period inflation was gradually reduced from close to 30% per annum in 1990 to only 6% in 1997. The paper concludes that three factors were important in helping to accomplish this performance. First, the independent Central Bank and its tough actions early on -to convey the message that it was ready to stand behind its mandate (to reduce inflation)- helped to shape inflationary expectations and in the process it led to lower wage inflation and ultimately a lower path for core inflation. Second, a restrictive monetary policy, and the foreign exchange intervention policies associated with it, resulted in a trajectory of the nominal exchange rate much below what would have been observed under a PPP rule adjusted for differences in productivity. This result was reinforced by the low credibility of the band reflected in the effect of the location of the exchange rate within the band on the observed rate. Third, the higher rate of growth of labor productivity, given the wage equation, resulted in a lower rate of growth of unit labor cost than otherwise. From these three effects the first effect, the enhanced credibility of the new policy operating through the formation of inflation expectations, was found to be the most important factor behind the success in reducing inflation rate.
Volume (Year): 1 (1998)
Issue (Month): (November)
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