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Inflation Targeting and Economic Reforms in New Zealand

Listed author(s):
  • Matteo Cacciatore

    (HEC Montréal)

  • Fabio Ghironi

    (University of Washington, CEPR, EABCN, and NBER)

  • Stephen J. Turnovsky

    (University of Washington and CESifo)

We study the consequences of economic reforms in New Zealand since the beginning of the 1990s. Inflation targeting became the monetary policymaking framework of the RBNZ in 1990. In the years that followed, New Zealand implemented labor market reform and became increasingly integrated in world trade. We use a New Keynesian model with rich trade microfoundations and labor market dynamics to study the performance of inflation targeting versus alternative monetary policy rules for New Zealand in relation to these market characteristics and reforms. We show that nominal income targeting would have been a better choice than inflation targeting or price-level targeting prior to market reforms by delivering more stable unemployment dynamics in a distorted economic environment. Nominal income targeting would also have been better than inflation targeting with respect to the transition costs of labor market reforms, though inflation targeting allowed for better management of the transition after trade integration. With New Zealand in its new long-run environment of integrated trade and flexible labor markets, the welfare gap between nominal income targeting and price/inflation targeting declines, as market reforms lower unemployment volatility.

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Article provided by International Journal of Central Banking in its journal International Journal of Central Banking.

Volume (Year): 11 (2015)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 145-198

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2015:q:4:a:4
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  1. Haltiwanger, John C. & Scarpetta, Stefano & Schweiger, Helena, 2006. "Assessing Job Flows across Countries: The Role of Industry, Firm Size and Regulations," IZA Discussion Papers 2450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Matteo Cacciatore & Giuseppe Fiori, 2016. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Goods and Labor Marlet Deregulation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 1-24, April.
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
  4. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2007. "Do Sunk Costs of Exporting Matter for Net Export Dynamics?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 289-336.
  5. Robert A Buckle & Kunhong Kim & Nathan McLellan, 2003. "The impact of monetary policy on New Zealand business cycles and inflation variability," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/09, New Zealand Treasury.
  6. repec:eee:moneco:v:88:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Winchester, Niven, 2009. "Is there a dirty little secret? Non-tariff barriers and the gains from trade," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 819-834, November.
  8. Cacciatore, Matteo & Fiori, Giuseppe & Ghironi, Fabio, 2016. "Market deregulation and optimal monetary policy in a monetary union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 120-137.
  9. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
  10. Matteo Cacciatore, 2013. "Trade, Unemployment, and Monetary Policy," 2013 Meeting Papers 724, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Cacciatore, Matteo, 2014. "International trade and macroeconomic dynamics with labor market frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 17-30.
  12. Andrés, Javier & Arce, Óscar & Thomas, Carlos, 2017. "Structural reforms in a debt overhang," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 15-34.
  13. McKelvie, S. & Hall, Viv B., 2012. "Stylised facts for New Zealand business cycles: A post-1987 perspective," Working Paper Series 2364, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
  14. Hall, Viv & Thomson, Peter & McKelvie, Stuart, 2015. "On trend robustness and end-point issues for New Zealand’s stylised business cycle facts," Working Paper Series 3761, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
  15. Michael Keane & Richard Rogerson, 2012. "Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Reassessment of Conventional Wisdom," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 464-476, June.
  16. Ross Kendall & Tim Ng, 2013. "The 2012 Policy Targets Agreement: an evolution in flexible inflation targeting in New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 76, pages 3-12, December.
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