The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Persistent inflation and slow stabilization are usually the result of policy accommodation resorted to in an attempt to avoid the recessionary costs of a sharp reduction of inflation. This paper reviews three explanations for why policymakers, despite their dislike of inflation, may nevertheless choose to adopt accommodative policies. It emphasizes the role of indexation, uncertainty about policymakers’ preferences, and the existence of fixed costs associated with the implementation of a stabilization program. The paper also presents some evidence on the extent of persistence of inflation across countries.