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.
Although accommodative policies and widespread indexation may account for the persistence of high inflation, they cannot explain changes in the inflation rate. This paper examines the causes of such changes for the high-inflation episodes immediately preceding the recent “heterodox” attempts at stabilization in Argentina, Brazil, and Israel. An attempt is made to distinguish between the “fiscal” and “balance of payments” views of the causes of high inflation by computing historical decompositions of these episodes based on vector autoregressions. In all three cases, the results indicate that nominal exchange rate shocks played the dominant role in triggering an acceleration of inflation.