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Monetary Policy under Flexible Exchange Rates: An Introduction to Inflation Targeting

In: Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges

Listed author(s):
  • Pierre-Richard Agénor

    (University of Manchester)

In the past few years, a number of central banks have adopted inflation targeting for monetary policy. The author provides an introduction to inflation targeting, with an emphasis on analytical issues, and the recent experience of middle- and high-income developing countries (which have relatively low inflation to begin with, and reasonably well-functioning financial markets). After presenting a formal analytical framework, the author discusses the basic requirements for inflation targeting, and how such a regime differs from money,and exchange rate targeting regimes. After discussing the operational framework for inflation targeting (including the price index to monitor the time horizon, the forecasting procedures, and the role of asset prices), he examines recent experiences with inflation targets, providing new evidence on the convexity of the Phillips curve for six developing countries. His conclusions: Inflation targeting is a flexible policy framework that allows a country's central bank to exercise some degree of discretion, without putting in jeopardy its main objective of maintaining stable prices. In middle- and high-income developing economies that can refrain from implicit exchange rate targeting, it can improve the design, and performance of monetary policy, compared with other policy approaches that central banks may follow. Not all countries may be able to satisfy the technical requirements (such as adequate price data, adequate understanding of the links between instruments, and targets of monetary policy, and adequate forecasting capabilities), but such requirements should not be overstated. Forecasting capability can never be perfect, and sensible projections always involve qualitative judgment. More important, and often more difficult, is the task of designing, or improving an institutional framework that would allow the central bank to pursue the goal of low, stable inflation, while maintaining the ability to stabilize fluctuations in output.

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This chapter was published in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.) Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, , chapter 3, pages 079-170, 2002.
This item is provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series with number v05c03pp079-170.
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  1. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Masson, Paul R, 1999. "Credibility, Reputation, and the Mexican Peso Crisis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 70-84, February.
  2. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," Working Papers 97-32, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. C. John McDermott & Eswar S Prasad & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1999. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries; Some Stylized Facts," IMF Working Papers 99/35, .
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Arrau, Patricio & DeGregorio, Jose & Wickham, Peter, 1995. "The demand for money in developing countries: Assessing the role of financial innovation," MPRA Paper 14096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Stephen Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2000. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output volatility? An International Comparison of Policy Maker's Preferences and Outcomes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 69, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
  7. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Joshua Aizenman, 1998. "Contagion and Volatility with Imperfect Credit Markets," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(2), pages 207-235, June.
  8. Jagjit Chadha & Philip Schellekens, 1999. "Monetary policy loss functions: two cheers for the quadratic," Bank of England working papers 101, Bank of England.
  9. Paul R Masson & Allan Drazen, 1994. "Credibility of Policies Versus Credibility of Policymakers," IMF Working Papers 94/49, .
  10. Haan, Jakob de & Kooi, Willem J., 2000. "Does central bank independence really matter?: New evidence for developing countries using a new indicator," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 643-664, April.
  11. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Jensen, H., 1996. "Inflation targets and contracts with uncertain central banker preferences," Discussion Paper 1996-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1996. "Is There a Role for Monetary Aggregates in the Conduct of Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 5845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Cukierman Alex, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, And Independance: Theory And Evidence," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 1-10, December.
  14. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Papers 636, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  15. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation Forecasts and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Nicoletta Batini & Andrew Haldane, 1999. "Forward-Looking Rules for Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 157-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Laurence Boone & Claude Giorno & Pete Richardson, 1998. "Stock Market Fluctuations and Consumption Behaviour: Some Recent Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 208, OECD Publishing.
  18. Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin & Finn E. Kydland, 1999. "The inflation-output variability tradeoff and price-level targets," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 23-32.
  19. Christian H. Beddies, 1999. "Monetary Policy and Public Finances: Inflation Targets in a New Perspective," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(3), pages 1-4.
  20. Guy M Meredith & Bankim Chadha & Paul R Masson, 1991. "Models of Inflation and the Costs of Disinflation," IMF Working Papers 91/97, .
  21. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Erica L. Groshen, 2000. "Understanding Inflation: Implications for Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 7482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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