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Exchange Rate Pass-through and Monetary Policy in South Africa


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


Understanding how import prices adjust to exchange rates helps anticipate inflation effects and monetary policy responses. This paper examines exchange rate passthrough to the monthly import price index in South Africa during 1980-2009. A methodological innovation allows various short-run pass-through estimates to be calculated simply without recourse to a full structural model, yet without neglecting the long-run relationships between prices or the effects of previous import price changes, and controlling for domestic as well as foreign costs. Pass-through is incomplete at about 50 percent within a year and 30 percent in six months, averaging over the sample. Johansen analysis of a cointegrated system using impulse response functions largely supports these short-run results, but as it includes feedback effects, implies lower pass-through for exogenous exchange rate shocks. Equilibrium pass-through, ignoring feedback effects, is around 75 percent. Shifts in pass-through with trade and capital account liberalisation in the 1990s are explored. There is evidence of slower pass-through under inflation targeting when account is taken of temporary shifts to foreign currency invoicing or increased hedging after large exchange rate shocks in the period. Further, pass-through is found to decline with recent exchange rate volatility and there is evidence for asymmetry, with greater pass-though occurring for small appreciations.

Suggested Citation

  • Aron, Janine & Farrell, Greg & Muellbauer, John & Sinclair, Peter, 2010. "Exchange Rate Pass-through and Monetary Policy in South Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8153, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8153

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shakill Hassan & Sean Smith, 2011. "The Rand as a Carry Trade Target: Risk, Returns and Policy Implications," Working Papers 235, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    2. Tatiana Lysenko & Geoff Barnard, 2011. "Strengthening the Macroeconomic Policy Framework in South Africa," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 847, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item


    asymmetic pass-through; exchange rate pass-through; exchange rate volatility; falling pass-through; import prices; monetary policy; South Africa; trade openness;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations


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