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The Conquest of South American Inflation

  • Thomas Sargent
  • Noah Williams
  • Tao Zha

We infer determinants of Latin American hyperinflations and stabilizations by using the method of maximum likelihood to estimate a hidden Markov model that potentially assigns roles both to fundamentals in the form of government deficits that are financed by money creation and to destabilizing expectations dynamics that can occasionally divorce inflation from fundamentals. Our maximum likelihood estimates allow us to interpret observed inflation rates in terms of variations in the deficits, sequences of shocks that trigger temporary episodes of expectations driven hyperinflations, and occasional superficial reforms that cut inflation without reforming deficits. Our estimates also allow us to infer the deficit adjustments that seem to have permanently stabilized inflation processes.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12606.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12606.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Publication status: published as Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2009. "The Conquest of South American Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 211-256, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12606
Note: EFG ME
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  1. Ellison, Martin & Graham, Liam & Vilmunen, Jouko, 2004. "Strong Contagion with Weak Spillovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 4762, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Marcet, A. & Nicolini, J.P., 1997. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," Papers 9721, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  3. In-Koo Cho & Noah Williams & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40.
  4. Cho, In-Koo & Kasa, Kenneth, 2008. "Learning Dynamics And Endogenous Currency Crises," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 257-285, April.
  5. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2005. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 92, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  6. Kenneth Kasa, 2004. "Learning, Large Deviations, And Recurrent Currency Crises," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 141-173, 02.
  7. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  8. James D. Hamilton & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2007. "Normalization in Econometrics," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 221-252.
  9. Imrohoroglu, Selahattin, 1993. "Testing for sunspot equilibria in the German hyperinflation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 289-317.
  10. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Indeterminacy of Equilibria in a Hyperinflationary World: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1073-107, September.
  11. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
  12. Robert J. Tetlow & Peter von zur Muehlen, 2002. "Avoiding Nash inflation: Bayesian and robust responses to model uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-9, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Mondino, Guillermo & Sturzenegger, Federico & Tommasi, Mariano, 1996. "Recurrent High Inflation and Stabilization: A Dynamic Game," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 981-96, November.
  14. Thomas J. Sargent & Noah Williams, 2003. "Impacts of priors on convergence and escapes from Nash inflation," Working Paper 2003-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  15. Fischer, Stanley, 1982. "Seigniorage and the Case for a National Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 295-313, April.
  16. Sargent, Thomas J, 1981. "Interpreting Economic Time Series," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 213-48, April.
  17. Adam, Klaus & Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2006. "Are hyperinflation paths learnable?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2725-2748, December.
  18. William Poole, 2002. "Flation," Speech 49, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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