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Some comparative evidence on the effectiveness of inflation targeting

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  • Thomas Laubach
  • Adam Posen

Abstract

Does the adoption of an inflation target by a country have an effect on that country's rate of inflation and on inflation's interaction with real economic variables? Does inflation targeting alter private-sector expectations? The question of effectiveness must be posed as a counterfactual -did target adopting countries find economic benefits they would not have found had they not targeted? We offer three sets of measurements of the effect of inflation targeting: the first concerning whether the disinflation has been achieved at lower cost, or whether inflation has come down in targeters to a greater extent than we would attribute to normal cyclical factors; second, concerning whether the interactions between inflation, monetary policy, and real variables have changed; and the third concerning whether private-sector inflation expectations have come down after targeting beyond that usually associated with a drop in inflation. We consider the performance of New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Sweden on these measures versus three baselines: their own past patterns prior to adoption; the performance of similar countries, Italy and Australia, which did not adopt targets; and the performance of two nominal targeters of long-standing, Germany and Switzerland, over the same period. We find that inflation targeting has had measurable effects on expectations and on the course of short-term interest rates, but that sacrifice ratios and Phillips curves remain unchanged in targeting countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Laubach & Adam Posen, 1997. "Some comparative evidence on the effectiveness of inflation targeting," Research Paper 9714, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednrp:9714
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laurence Ball, 1994. "What Determines the Sacrifice Ratio?," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy, pages 155-193 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-853, October.
    3. Posen, Adam, 1998. "Central Bank Independence and Disinflationary Credibility: A Missing Link?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 335-359, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1998. "International Experiences With Different Monetary Policy Regimes," Seminar Papers 648, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    2. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 97-116, Spring.
    3. Moretti, Laura, 2014. "Inflation targeting and product market deregulation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 372-386.
    4. David R. Johnson & Sebastian Gerlich, 2002. "How Has Inflation Changed in Canada? A Comparison of 1989­2001 to 1964­1988," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(4), pages 563-579, December.
    5. Pierre St-Amant & David Tessier, 2000. "Résultats empiriques multi-pays relatifs à l'impact des cibles d'inflation sur la crédibilité de la politique monétaire," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(3), pages 295-310, September.
    6. Ivrendi, Mehmet & Guloglu, Bulent, 2010. "Monetary shocks, exchange rates and trade balances: Evidence from inflation targeting countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1144-1155, September.
    7. Muscatelli, Anton & Trecroci, Carmine, 2000. " Monetary Policy Rules, Policy Preferences, and Uncertainty: Recent Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 597-627, December.
    8. Petra Gerlach-Kristen, 2007. "A Two-Pillar Phillips Curve for Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(IV), pages 425-448, December.
    9. Barry Eichengreen, 2000. "The EMS Crisis in Retrospect," NBER Working Papers 8035, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kevin Carey, 2001. "Inflation pressure and European unemployment," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 9-13.
    11. Muscatelli, V Anton & Tirelli, Patrizio & Trecroci, Carmine, 2002. "Does Institutional Change Really Matter? Inflation Targets, Central Bank Reform and Interest Rate Policy in the OECD Countries," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 487-527, Special I.
    12. V. Anton Muscatelli & Patrizio Tirelli & Carmine Trecroci, 1998. "Institutional Change, Inflation Targeting and the Stability of Interest Rate Reaction Functions," Working Papers 9815, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Aug 1998.
    13. Kenneth N. Kuttner & Adam S. Posen, 1999. "Does talk matter after all? Inflation targeting and central bank behavior," Staff Reports 88, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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    Keywords

    Inflation (Finance) ; Monetary policy;

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