Formal targets, central bank independence and inflation dynamics in the UK: A Markov-Switching approach
We examine inflation and uncertainty in the UK with a version of the Markov Switching model, which allows for changes in the variance as well as in the mean and persistence of a series. We find that the UK’s attempts at exchange rate pegs in the form of shadowing the deutschmark and entering the ERM were ineffective, and in the latter case counterproductive in lowering inflation uncertainty. The 1981 budget, however, greatly lowered uncertainty, and the adoption of a formal inflation target also had a palpable, negative impact on inflation uncertainty. As a suggestive exercise, we examine inflation uncertainty in the US, and find that, over 2005–2008, in the absence of an inflation target, uncertainty rose in the US, while uncertainty remained low in the UK over this period of rising commodity prices and financial turmoil.
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