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Measuring the welfare cost of inflation in South Africa

Author

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  • Rangan Gupta
  • Josine Uwilingiye

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the long-run equilibrium relationship between money balance as a ratio of income and the Treasury bill rate for the period of 1965:02 to 2007:01, and, in turn, use the relationship to obtain welfare cost estimates of inflation. Using the Johansen (1991, 1995) technique, we estimate a log-log specification and a semi-log model of the above relationship. Based on the fits of the specifications, we decided to rely more on the welfare cost measure obtained under the log-log money demand model. Our estimates suggest that the welfare cost of inflation for South Africa ranges between 0.34 percent and 0.67 percent of GDP, for a band of 3 to 6 percent of inflation. Thus, it seems that the SARB's current inflation target band of 3-6 percent provides quite a good approximation in terms of welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Rangan Gupta & Josine Uwilingiye, 2008. "Measuring the welfare cost of inflation in South Africa," Working Papers 68, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:68
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard G. Anderson & Robert H. Rasche, 2001. "The remarkable stability of monetary base velocity in the United States, 1919-1999," Working Papers 2001-008, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    2. Kirsten L. Ludi & Marc Ground, 2006. "Investigating the Bank-Lending Channel in South Africa: A VAR Approach," Working Papers 200604, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    3. David F. Hendry & Katarina Juselius, 2001. "Explaining Cointegration Analysis: Part II," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 75-120.
    4. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Phiri, 2012. "Threshold effects and inflation persistence in South Africa," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(3), pages 247-269, July.
    2. Bonga-Bonga, Lumengo & Lebese, Ntsakeseni Letitia, 2016. "Rethinking the current inflation target range in South Africa," MPRA Paper 73912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Eliphas Ndou & Nombulelo Gumata & Mthuli Ncube & Eric Olson, 2013. "Working Paper 189 - An Empirical Investigation of the Taylor Curve in South Africa," Working Paper Series 992, African Development Bank.
    4. Steven F. Koch & Adel Bosch, 2009. "Inflation and the Household: Towards a Measurement of the Welfare Costs of Inflation," Working Papers 200917, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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