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Estimating monetary policy rules for South Africa

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  • Janine Aron
  • John Muellbauer

Abstract

South African monetary policy has experienced major shifts, with three broad monetary policy regimes since the 1960s. This paper analyses the conduct of monetary policy, describing the historical record and institutions of monetary policy, and formally modelling extended Taylor rules for interest rate policy formation. Our principal interest is in the second regime (prior to inflation targeting), when the short-term interest rate first became the main monetary policy instrument, with reference to monetary targets and an eclectic set of economic indicators. Policy was opaque in this regime, and has never been studied in the context of rigorous empirical models. Taylor rules, augmented for foreign interest rate influences and interest rate smoothing, and based either on forecast, or actual, inflation and output gap measures, poorly describe the behavior of the discount rate. A satisfactory model includes the deviation of money growth from target in the rule and controls for the extensive financial liberalisation occurring in the period. In practice, the central bank emphasized current inflation, giving a low weight to the output gap. We find weak evidence for structural breaks reflecting competing balance of payments considerations.
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Suggested Citation

  • Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2001. "Estimating monetary policy rules for South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2001-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Muellbauer, John N J, 1996. "Income Persistence and Macro-Policy Feedbacks in the U.S," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(4), pages 703-733, November.
    2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    3. Hendry, David F, 1985. "Monetary Economic Myth and Econometric Reality," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 72-84, Spring.
    4. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-247, July-Sept.
    6. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1997. "Inflation targeting: lessons from four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 9-110.
    7. John B. Taylor, 1995. "The Monetary Transmission Mechanism: An Empirical Framework," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 11-26.
    8. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 97-116.
    9. Glenn Rudebusch & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 203-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Knedlik, Tobias, 2006. "Signaling Currency Crises in South Africa," IWH Discussion Papers 19/2006, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    2. BONGA-BONGA, Lumengo & GUMA, Nomvuyo, 2017. "The Relationship Between Savings And Economic Growth At The Disaggregated Level," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, pages 1-24.
    3. John Muellbauer & Janine Aron & Ant Murphy & Janine Aron & Anthony Murphy, 2007. "Housing Wealth, Credit Conditions and Consumption," ERES eres2007_257, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
    4. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2006. "Housing Wealth, Credit Conditions and Consumption," CSAE Working Paper Series 2006-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2007. "Review of Monetary Policy in South Africa since 1994," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 705-744, November.
    6. Aron, Janine & Muellbauer, John, 2006. "Review of Monetary Policy in South Africa: 1994-2004," CEPR Discussion Papers 5831, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Peter Aling & Shakill Hassan, 2012. "No-Arbitrage One-Factor Models Of The South African Term Structure Of Interest Rates," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 80(3), pages 301-318, September.
    8. Bhorat, Haroon & Hirsch, Alan & Kanbur, Ravi & Ncube, Mthuli, 2014. "Economic Policy in South Africa: Past, Present, and Future," Working Papers 180150, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    9. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2007. "Review of Monetary Policy in South Africa since 1994," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 705-744, November.

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