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Is There a Case for Formal Inflation Targeting in Sub-Saharan Africa?

  • James Heintz
  • Léonce Ndikumana

This working paper examines the question of whether inflation targeting monetary policy is an appropriate framework for sub-Saharan African countries. The paper presents an overview of inflation targeting, reviews the justification for the regime, and summarizes some major critiques. Monetary policy responses to inflation depend on the source of inflationary pressures. Therefore, the determinants of inflation in African countries areinvestigated, using dynamic panel data, and the implications for inflation targeting are discussed. These issues are examined in greater detail for the two African countries which have formally adopted inflation targeting, South Africa and Ghana. The analysis is placed in the context of the global economic crisis. The paper concludes with a discussion of alternative approaches to monetary policies and the institutional constraints that would need to be addressed to allow central banks to play a stronger developmental role in sub-Saharan African countries.

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Paper provided by Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in its series Working Papers with number wp218.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp218
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  1. Vittorio Corbo & Óscar Landerretche & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Make a Difference?," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 5, pages 221-270 Central Bank of Chile.
  2. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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  5. Roberto Frenkel & Lance Taylor, 2006. "Real Exchange Rate, Monetary Policy and Employment," Working Papers 19, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
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  7. Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1998. "Inflation crises and long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-26, February.
  8. Luis Miguel Galindo & Jaime Ros, 2008. "Alternatives to inflation targeting in Mexico," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 201-214.
  9. Régis Barnichon & Shanaka J. Peiris, 2008. "Sources of Inflation in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(5), pages 729-746, November.
  10. Gerald Epstein, 2008. "An employment targeting framework for central bank policy in South Africa," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 243-258.
  11. Jose Antonio Cordero, 2008. "Economic growth under alternative monetary regimes: inflation targeting vs real exchange rate targeting," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 145-160.
  12. Richard C.K. Burdekin & Arthur T. Denzau & Manfred W. Keil & Thitithep Sitthiyot & Thomas D. Willett, . "When Does Inflation Hurt Economic Growth? Different Nonlinearities for Different Economies," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-22, Claremont Colleges.
  13. Goncalves, Carlos Eduardo S. & Salles, Joao M., 2008. "Inflation targeting in emerging economies: What do the data say?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 312-318, February.
  14. Atish Ghosh & Steven Phillips, 1998. "Warning: Inflation May Be Harmful to Your Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(4), pages 672-710, December.
  15. D. Hodge, 2006. "Inflation and growth in South Africa," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(2), pages 163-180, March.
  16. Aizenman, Joshua & Hutchison, Michael & Noy, Ilan, 2011. "Inflation Targeting and Real Exchange Rates in Emerging Markets," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 712-724, May.
  17. Emilio Sacerdoti, 2005. "Access to Bank Credit in Sub-Saharan Africa; Key Issues and Reform Strategies," IMF Working Papers 05/166, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Loening, Josef L. & Durevall, Dick & Birru, Yohannes A., 2009. "Inflation dynamics and food prices in an agricultural economy : the case of Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4969, The World Bank.
  19. Gerald Epstein & Erinc Yeldan, 2008. "Inflation Targeting, Employment Creation and Economic Development: Assessing the Impacts and Policy Alternatives," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 129-130.
  20. By Mohsin S. Khan & Abdelhak S. Senhadji, 2001. "Threshold Effects in the Relationship Between Inflation and Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(1), pages 1.
  21. Gerald Epstein, 2007. "Central banks as agents of employment creation," Working Papers 38, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  22. Kasekende Louis & Brixova Zuzana & Ndikumana Leonce, 2010. "Africa: Africa's Counter-Cyclical Policy Responses to the Crisis," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-22, January.
  23. Oladipo Olajide, 2007. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through: A Case Study of a Small Open Economy," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 1-26, October.
  24. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  25. Thandika Mkandawire, 1999. "The political economy of financial reform in Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 321-342.
  26. John Thornton, 2008. "Money, Output And Inflation In African Economies," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(3), pages 356-366, 09.
  27. Jannie Rossouw & Vishnu Padayachee, 2009. "Measuring Inflation Credibility: Results Of A First Representative South African Sample," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(2), pages 314-331, 06.
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