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MEASURING THE WELFARE COST OF INFLATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

Rangan Gupta () and Josine Uwilingiye

South African Journal of Economics, 2008, vol. 76, issue 1, 16-25

Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the long‐run equilibrium relationship between money balance as a ratio of income and the Treasury bill rate for the period of 1965:02 to 2007:01, and in turn use the relationship to obtain welfare cost estimates of inflation. Using the Johansen technique, we estimate a log‐log specification and a semi‐log model of the above relationship. Based on the fits of the specifications, we decided to rely more on the welfare cost measure obtained under the log‐log money demand model. Our estimates suggest that the welfare cost of inflation for South Africa ranges between 0.34% and 0.67% of GDP, for a band of 3‐6% of inflation. Thus, it seems that the South African Reserve Bank's current inflation target band of 3‐6% is not too poorly designed in terms of welfare.

Date: 2008
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https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2008.00159.x

Related works:
Working Paper: Measuring the Welfare Cost of Inflation in South Africa (2008)
Working Paper: Measuring the welfare cost of inflation in South Africa (2008) Downloads
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