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

In: Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges

  • 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.
Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchsb:v05c03pp079-170
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  1. Christian H. Beddies, 1999. "Monetary Policy and Public Finances: Inflation Targets in a New Perspective," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(3), pages 4.
  2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Paul R. Masson & Allan Drazen, 1994. "Credibility of Policies Versus Credibility of Policymakers," IMF Working Papers 94/49, International Monetary Fund.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:dgr:kubcen:1998103 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Bernanke, Ben S & Woodford, Michael, 1997. "Inflation Forecasts and Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 653-84, November.
  7. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Faust, John, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Seminar Papers 636, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  8. Guy Meredith & Bankim Chadha & Paul R. Masson, 1991. "Models of Inflation and the Costs of Disinflation," IMF Working Papers 91/97, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Joshua Aizenman & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1997. "Contagion and Volatility with Imperfect Credit Markets," IMF Working Papers 97/127, International Monetary Fund.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Reinhart, Carmen & Arrau, Patricio & DeGregorio, Jose & Wickham, Peter, 1991. "The demand for money in developing countries: Assessing the role of financial innovation," MPRA Paper 13691, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility?: An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy: Rules and Transmission Mechanisms, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 9, pages 247-274 Central Bank of Chile.
  16. Schellekens, P. & Chadha, J.S., 1999. "Monetary Policy Loss Functions: Two Cheers for the Quadratic," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9920, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  17. Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981, August.
  18. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Inflation Targets and Contracts with Uncertain Central Banker Preferences," CEPR Discussion Papers 1562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin & Finn Kydland, 1999. "The inflation-output variability tradeoff and price-level targets," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 23-32.
  20. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Erica L. Groshen, 2000. "Understanding Inflation: Implications for Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 7482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. C. John McDermott & Eswar Prasad & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1999. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries; Some Stylized Facts," IMF Working Papers 99/35, International Monetary Fund.
  22. Laurence Boone & Claude Giorno & Pete Richardson, 1998. "Stock Market Fluctuations and Consumption Behaviour: Some Recent Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 208, OECD Publishing.
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