Inflation control around the world: Why are some contries more successful than others?
This paper focuses on two important questions concerning inflation performance in a country sample of forty-two of the most developed countries in the world. The firrst is why inflation tends to be more volatile in some countries than in others, in particular in very small, open economies and emerging market economies compared to the large and more developed ones. The empirical analysis suggests that the volatility of the risk premium in multilateral exchange rates, the degree of exchange rate pass-through to inflation, and monetary policy predictability play a key role in explaining the cross-country variation in inflation volatility. Other variables, related to economic development and size, international trade, output volatility, exposure to external shocks, and central bank independence are not found significant. The second question is what explains the general decline in inflation volatility over the sample period. Using a panel approach, the empirical analysis confirms that the adoption of inflation targeting has played a critical role in this improvement in addition to the three variables found important in the cross-country analysis. Inflation targeting therefore continues to play an important role in reducing inflation volatility even after adding the three controls to the panel analysis. The main conclusions are found to be robust to changes in the country sample and to different estimation methods.
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