Economics at your fingertips  

Fiscal and monetary policy in a commodity‐based economy1

Jeffrey Frankel (), Ben Smit and Federico Sturzenegger

The Economics of Transition, 2008, vol. 16, issue 4, 679-713

Abstract: A rough description of macroeconomic policy in South Africa would be that monetary policy concentrates on building nominal credibility through focusing on inflation, while the brunt of the responsibility for output stabilization rests on fiscal policy. This aricle discusses the convenience of such a policy mix. First, we estimate the business cycle impact of fiscal and monetary policy to find that so far fiscal policy has been mostly pro‐cyclical, whereas monetary policy has been, over the last couple of years, mildly counter‐cyclical. We argue that fiscal policy should be made significantly more counter‐cyclical than it has been – a strategy that would deliver more macroeconomic stability and potentially higher growth. Furthermore, we believe the Central Bank has earned the credibility to operate macro policy with a more decisive output stabilization objective, and we discuss several reinterpretations of the inflation targeting regime that provide the flexibility to do so without risking the strong anti‐inflationary credibility of the SARB. On exchange rate policy we recommend that the authorities take a pragmatic approach to floating, mostly allowing the currency to move freely, but intervening to avoid overvaluation. We explain why and discuss how this objective could be achieved.

Date: 2008
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (12) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... bs.asp?ref=0967-0750

Access Statistics for this article

The Economics of Transition is currently edited by Philippe Aghion and Wendy Carlin

More articles in The Economics of Transition from The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

Page updated 2021-04-20
Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:16:y:2008:i:4:p:679-713