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Price adjustment after hyperinflation in Zimbabwe

Mike Nyawo () and Neil Rankin ()

African Development Review, 2020, vol. 32, issue 2, 240-256

Abstract: This paper examines—post‐dollarization in Zimbabwe—the extent of price dispersion within Zimbabwe and between Zimbabwe and South Africa. We document the adjustment process, and the mechanisms of price adjustment after the introduction of the new currency system in Zimbabwe. We show that prices converged post‐dollarization. We argue that the fall in price dispersion is not a product or a Southern Africa region effect. Rather it is a Zimbabwe specific effect and given that price convergence happens quicker the closer the month is to the dollarization, we argue that the observed results are driven by the change in currency. Price dispersion happens faster between major cities and secondary cities, suggesting improvements in information and trade signals between major and secondary cities. These results suggest that the positive effects of a stable currency fall disproportionally on secondary cities, implying price stability not only has macroeconomic benefits, but also developmental benefits since secondary cities and rural areas are on average, poorer than main cities.

Date: 2020
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Handle: RePEc:bla:afrdev:v:32:y:2020:i:2:p:240-256