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Exchange Rate Pass-through to Import Prices, and Monetary Policy in South Africa


  • Janine Aron
  • Greg Farrell
  • John Muellbauer
  • Peter Sinclair


Understanding how import prices adjust to exchange rates helps anticipate inflation effects and monetary policy responses. This article examines exchange rate pass-through to the monthly import price index in South Africa during 1980-2009. Short-horizon pass-through estimates are calculated using both single equation equilibrium correction models and systems (Johansen) models, controlling for both domestic and foreign costs. Average pass-through is incomplete at about 50 per cent within a year and 30 per cent in six months, and in the long-run, from the Johansen analysis including feedback effects, is about 55 per cent. There is evidence of slower pass-through under inflation targeting; pass-through is found to decline with recent exchange rate volatility and there is evidence for asymmetry, with greater pass-through occurring for small appreciations.

Suggested Citation

  • Janine Aron & Greg Farrell & John Muellbauer & Peter Sinclair, 2014. "Exchange Rate Pass-through to Import Prices, and Monetary Policy in South Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(1), pages 144-164, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:50:y:2014:i:1:p:144-164
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2013.847179

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David C. Parsley, 2012. "Exchange Rate Pass-through in South Africa: Panel Evidence from Individual Goods and Services," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(7), pages 832-846, January.
    2. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 675-727.
    3. Taylor, John B., 2000. "Low inflation, pass-through, and the pricing power of firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1389-1408, June.
    4. Devereux, Michael B. & Engel, Charles, 2002. "Exchange rate pass-through, exchange rate volatility, and exchange rate disconnect," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 913-940, July.
    5. Kevin Nell, 2004. "The structuralist theory of imported inflation: an application to South Africa," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(13), pages 1431-1444.
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:30703806 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
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    Cited by:

    1. Isaacs, Gilad, 2014. "The myth of “neutrality” and the rhetoric of “stability”: macroeconomic policy in democratic South Africa," MPRA Paper 54426, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Kabundi, Alain & Mlachila, Montfort, 2019. "The role of monetary policy credibility in explaining the decline in exchange rate pass-through in South Africa," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 173-185.
    3. Renzo Alvarez & Amin Shoja & Syed Uddin & Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2019. "Daily exchange rate pass-through into micro prices," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(6), pages 440-445, March.
    4. Janine Aron & Ronald Macdonald & John Muellbauer, 2014. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through in Developing and Emerging Markets: A Survey of Conceptual, Methodological and Policy Issues, and Selected Empirical Findings," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(1), pages 101-143, January.
    5. Sinyakov, A. & Chernyadyev, D. & Sapova, A., 2019. "Estimating the Exchange Rate Pass-Through Effect on Producer Prices of Final Products Based on Micro-Data of Russian Companies," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 128-157.
    6. Janine Aron & Kenneth Creamer & John Muellbauer & Neil Rankin, 2014. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through to Consumer Prices in South Africa: Evidence from Micro-Data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(1), pages 165-185, January.
    7. Edwards Lawrence & Hlatshwayo Ayanda, 2020. "Exchange rates and firm export performance in South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp2020-1, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Rebeca Jiménez‐Rodríguez & Amalia Morales‐Zumaquero, 2020. "BRICS: How important is the exchange rate pass‐through?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 781-793, March.
    9. Charl Jooste & Yaseen Jhaveri, 2014. "The Determinants of Time-Varying Exchange Rate Pass-Through in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 82(4), pages 603-615, December.
    10. 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.
    11. Tunç, Cengiz, 2017. "A Survey on Exchange Rate Pass through in Emerging Markets," Bulletin of Economic Theory and Analysis, BETA Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 205-233, July-Sept.
    12. repec:kqi:journl:2017-1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ponomarev, Yuriy (Пономарев, Юрий) & Rey, Aleksey (Рей, Алексей) & Radchenko, Darya (Радченко, Дарья), 2018. "Investigation of the Relationship between the Intensity of International Trade and the Volatility of Paired Exchange Rates of the Russian Federation and its Trading Partners [Исследование Взаимосвя," Working Papers 061823, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    14. Adekunle, Wasiu & Tiamiyu, Ajao, 2018. "Exchange rate pass-through to consumer prices in Nigeria: An asymmetric approach," MPRA Paper 88797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Mehmet Balcilar & David Roubaud & Ojonugwa Usman & Mark E. Wohar, 2019. "Testing the Asymmetric Effects of Exchange Rate and Oil Price Pass-Through in BRICS Countries: Does the state of the economy matter?," Working Papers 15-49, Eastern Mediterranean University, Department of Economics.
    16. Dambar Uprety, 2017. "The Impact of Remittances on Economic Growth in Nepal," Journal of Development Innovations, KarmaQuest Internatioinal, vol. 1(1), pages 114-134, February.
    17. Franz Ruch & Neil Rankin & Stan du Plessis, 2016. "Decomposing inflation using micro-price-level data- South Africa’s pricing dynamics," Working Papers 7353, South African Reserve Bank.
    18. Lawrence Edwards & Ayanda Hlatshwayo, 2020. "Exchange rates and firm export performance in South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-1, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    19. Michael Debabrata Patra & Joice John, 2018. "Non-Linear, Asymmetric and TimeVarying Exchange Rate Pass-Through: Recent Evidence from India," Working Papers id:12700, eSocialSciences.
    20. Прокопьев М.Г., 2016. "Анализ Влияния Цен На Импортные Товары На Цены Внутреннего Рынка: Методические Аспекты," Журнал Экономика и математические методы (ЭММ), Центральный Экономико-Математический Институт (ЦЭМИ), vol. 52(1), pages 20-27, январь.

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