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South Africa; The Cyclical Behavior of the Markups and its Implications for Monetary Policy

  • Nir Klein
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    The study looks at the cyclical behavior of the markups and assesses its impact on inflation dynamics. The analysis finds that the aggregate level of the private sector's markup is relatively high, thus pointing to the lack of strong competition in South Africa's product markets. Additionally, the results suggest that the markups tend to move in a countercyclical manner, with a short-term positive impact on inflation. This implies that the countercyclical pattern of the markups is one factor among others that contribute to the relatively weak output gap-inflation co-movement. In the context of South Africa's inflation targeting framework, the counter-cyclical markups may also generate an asymmetric response of monetary policy to the fluctuations in economic activity.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 11/204.

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    Length: 22
    Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/204
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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Braun, Matias & Fedderke, Johannes, 2008. "Competition and Productivity Growth in South Africa," Scholarly Articles 3350068, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Macallan, Clare & Millard, Stephen & Parker, Miles, 2008. "The cyclicality of mark-ups and profit margins for the United Kingdom: some new evidence," Bank of England working papers 351, Bank of England.
    3. Christopher Bowdler & Eilev S. Jansen, 2004. "Testing for a time-varying price-cost markup in the Euro area inlation process," Working Paper 2004/9, Norges Bank.
    4. Anindya Banerjee & Bill Russell, 2002. "Inflation and Measures of the Markup," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 130, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    5. Katharine S. Neiss, 2001. "The markup and inflation: evidence in OECD countries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 570-587, May.
    6. Johannes Fedderke & Gabor Szalontai, 2005. "Industry Concentration in South African Manufacturing Industry: Trends and Consequences, 1972-96," Working Papers 23, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    7. Jón Steinsson, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Economics wp11, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    8. Robert S. Chirinko & Steven M. Fazzari, 2000. "Market Power and Inflation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 509-513, August.
    9. Benabou, R., 1991. "Inflation and Markups: Theories and Evidence from the Retail Trade Sector," Working papers 587, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    10. Johannes Fedderke & Chandana Kularatne & Martine Mariotti, 2007. "Mark-up Pricing in South African Industry," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(1), pages 28-69, January.
    11. Haskel, Jonathan & Martin, Christopher & Small, Ian, 1995. "Price, Marginal Cost and the Business Cycle," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 25-41, February.
    12. Machin, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 1993. "Profit Margins and the Business Cycle: Evidence from UK Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 29-50, March.
    13. Gottfries, Nils, 1991. "Customer Markets, Credit Market Imperfections and Real Price Rigidity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(231), pages 317-23, August.
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