Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Papers of Business and Economics,
University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics

No 22/2013: Inflation targeting, flexible exchange rates, and macroeconomic performance since the Great Revolution

Thomas Barnebeck Andersen (), Nikolaj Malchow-Møller () and Jens Nordvig ()
Additional contact information
Thomas Barnebeck Andersen: Department of Business and Economics, Postal: University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Nikolaj Malchow-Møller: Department of Business and Economics, Postal: University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Jens Nordvig: Nomura Securities, Postal: New York, U.S.A.

Abstract: Has inflation targeting (IT) conferred benefits in terms of economic growth on countries that followed this particular monetary policy strategy during the crisis period 2007-12? Analyzing the sample of all OECD countries, we answer this question in the affirmative: Countries with an IT monetary regime with flexible exchange rates weathered the crisis much better than countries with other regimes. This includes in particular countries with fixed exchange rate regimes, but also countries with flexible exchange rates without IT. The result holds in the full sample; it holds when we exclude the so-called peripheral Eurozone countries (Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain); and it holds when we exclude all Eurozone countries. It is, in other words, a robust empirical finding. We demonstrate that part of the explanation for this difference in growth performance is found in differences in export performance during the initial years of the crisis, which in turn is explained by real exchange rate depreciations. However, this cannot explain the entire difference in performance between countries with flexible and fixed exchange rates in the aftermath of the Great Recession. IT seems also to confer other benefits on the countries above and beyond the effect from currency depreciation.

Keywords: Inflation targeting; flexible exchange rates; economic growth; OEDC; Great Recession

JEL-codes: E42; E58; O43

29 pages, December 21, 2013

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