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Monetary Policy and Inflation Modeling in a more Open Economy in South Africa

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  • Janine Aron
  • John Muellbauer

Abstract

South Africa in the 1990s became globally more integrated after years of isolation. Opening the trade and capital accounts gave impetus to a monetary policy regime change to inflation targeting from 2000, after a costly transitional period of monetary mismanagement with low policy transparency. Changes in openness can, however, disrupt the inflation forecasting on which targeting monetary policies depend. This chapter demonstrates how the central bank’s own producer price inflation equation in its core model can be improved by taking account of greater openness, using both innovative time-series openness measures and a more conventional measure. The model has a greatly improved fit and stability over longer samples when also including the real exchange rate and the interest rate differential (making explicit the exchange rate channel of monetary transmission) and asymmetric food price inflation. Moreover, there is a role for the level of the output gap rather than simply a short-run effect, as in the central bank’s model. This helps mitigate the arguments in current South African debate regarding the apparent unconcern of inflation targeting policy for the level of economic activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2008. "Monetary Policy and Inflation Modeling in a more Open Economy in South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2008-28, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2008-28
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/2008-28text.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
    2. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2005. "Monetary Policy, Macro-stability and Growth," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(4), pages 123-147, October.
    3. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
    4. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2002. "Interest Rate Effects on Output: Evidence from a GDP Forecasting Model for South Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(Special i), pages 185-213.
    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), pages 705-744.
    6. S.A. Du Plessis, 2002. "EVALUATING THE SARB's INFLATION TARGET," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(6), pages 982-1007, September.
    7. Janine Aron & Ibrahim Elbadawi & Brian Kahn, 1998. "Determinants of the real exchange rate in South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Janine Aron & Geeta Kingdon, 2007. "South African Economic Policy Under Democracy," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 661-667, November.
    9. Janine Aron & Ibrahim Elbadawi, 1999. "Reflections on the South African rand crisis of 1996 and its consequences," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    10. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
    11. Aron, Janine & Muellbauer, John, 2007. "Inflation Dynamics and Trade Openness," CEPR Discussion Papers 6346, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 195-214.
    13. Lawrence Edwards, 2005. "Has South Africa Liberalised Its Trade?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(4), pages 754-775, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2009. "Some Issues in Modeling and Forecasting Inflation in South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2009-01, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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