Many inflation stabilizations succeed only temporarily. Using a sample of 51 episodes of stabilization from inflation levels above 40 percent, we show that most of the failures are explained by bad luck, unfavorable initial conditions, and inadequate political institutions. The evolution of trading partners' demand and U.S. interest rates captures the effect of bad luck. Past inflation affects the outcome in two different ways: a long history of high inflation makes failure more likely, while a high level of inflation prior to stabilization increases the chances of success. Countries with short-lived political institutions, a weak executive authority, and proportional electoral rules also tend to fail. After controlling for all these factors, we find that exchange-rate-based stabilizations are more likely to succeed. These findings are robust across measures of failure (two dichotomous and one continuous), sample selection criteria, and estimation techniques, including Heckman's correction for the endogeneity of the anchor.
The price level behaviors of the CFA franc zone countries with respect to the price level of France, defined in terms of long-run convergence in price level and short-run linear dependence of their inflation rates are not homogenous and have a break-point in the mid 1980s except for Congo. This paper quantifies the evolution of the price level behavior of each CFA franc zone country from 1979 to 1993 using the cointegration and error-correction model techniques. The interzone linkages are also examined using the simple vector autoregression model.