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The origins of inflation targeting regime: the science of central banking or the art of central bankers?

Emmanuel Carré

Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, 2014, issue 66, 127-172

Abstract: The monetary policy regime of inflation targeting was born in 1989 in New Zealand. Inflation targeting has now become the mainstream view in the literature, it has been adopted by more than 25 countries and it is the norm of the International Monetary Fund. Conventional wisdom sees the origins of inflation targeting in the ‘science’ of monetary policy, in particular the problem of time inconsistency. The author recalls the historical origins of this regime in New Zealand and shows that it also results from the broader governmental economic reform based on the Harvard School. Further evidence shows that economic theories have played a limited role in the creation of inflation targeting, which turns out instead to be a pragmatic ‘art’, with little theoretical foundations. Inflation targeting is thus quite special in the history of monetary regimes.

Keywords: Inflation targeting regime; New Zealand; time-inconsistency; Harvard business school. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B22 E42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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