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Testing Hyperinflation Theories Using the Inflation Tax Curve: A Case Study

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  • Fernando de Holanda Barbosa
  • Tito Nícias Teixeira da Silva Filho

Abstract

This paper tests hyperinflation theories using the inflation tax curve. This curve is estimated directly instead of the usual approach which is a by-product of demand for money empirical estimates. The inflation tax functional form encompasses several specifications as particular cases and allows to test whether or not money is inelastic. This strategy is applied to the Brazilian annual data covering almost half a century. The money inelasticity hypothesis is rejected. Thus, both the bubble and the strict hyperinflation hypotheses are rejected. The weak hyperinflation hypothesis is not rejected and the Brazilian economy could have been in the 'wrong' side of the Laffer curve for some time during hyperinflation. This outcome, contrary to conventional wisdom, is predicted by the weak hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando de Holanda Barbosa & Tito Nícias Teixeira da Silva Filho, 2008. "Testing Hyperinflation Theories Using the Inflation Tax Curve: A Case Study," Working Papers Series 166, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:bcb:wpaper:166
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jurgen A. Doornik & Henrik Hansen, 2008. "An Omnibus Test for Univariate and Multivariate Normality," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(s1), pages 927-939, December.
    2. Casella, Alessandra, 1989. "Testing for rational bubbles with exogenous or endogenous fundamentals : The German hyperinflation once more," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 109-122, July.
    3. Banerjee, Anindya & Dolado, Juan J. & Galbraith, John W. & Hendry, David, 1993. "Co-integration, Error Correction, and the Econometric Analysis of Non-Stationary Data," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288107.
    4. Easterly, William R & Mauro, Paolo & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 1995. "Money Demand and Seigniorage-Maximizing Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 583-603, May.
    5. Engsted, Tom, 1993. "Cointegration and Cagan's Model of Hyperinflation under Rational Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(3), pages 350-360, August.
    6. Imrohoroglu, Selahattin, 1993. "Testing for sunspot equilibria in the German hyperinflation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 289-317.
    7. Fernando Barbosa & Alexandre Cunha & Elvia Sallum, 2006. "Competitive equilibrium hyperinflation under rational expectations," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 29(1), pages 181-195, September.
    8. de Holanda Barbosa, Fernando & Barros da Cunha, Alexandre, 2003. "Inflation tax and money essentiality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 187-195, February.
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