Mrs. Alexandra Born, Mrs. Sarwat Jahan, and Mr. Edward R Gemayel
Inflation targeting (IT) is a relatively new monetary policy framework for low-income countries (LICs). The limited number of LICs with an IT framework and the short time that has elapsed since the adoption of this framework explains why there are no previous empirical studies on the performance of IT in LICs. This paper has made a first attempt at filling this gap. It finds that inflation targeting appears to be associated with lower inflation and inflation volatility. At the same time, there is no robust evidence of an adverse impact on output. This may explain the appeal of IT for many LICs, where building credibility of monetary policy is difficult and minimizing output costs of reducing inflation is imperative for social and political reasons.
Over the past two decades, many low- and lower-middle income countries (LLMICs) have improved control over fiscal policy, liberalized and deepened financial markets, and stabilized inflation at moderate levels. Monetary policy frameworks that have helped achieve these ends are being challenged by continued financial development and increased exposure to global capital markets. Many policymakers aspire to move beyond the basics of stability to implement monetary policy frameworks that better anchor inflation and promote macroeconomic stability and growth. Many of these LLMICs are thus considering and implementing improvements to their monetary policy frameworks. The recent successes of some LLMICs and the experiences of emerging and advanced economies, both early in their policy modernization process and following the global financial crisis, are valuable in identifying desirable features of such frameworks. This paper draws on those lessons to provide guidance on key elements of effective monetary policy frameworks for LLMICs.