The Federal Reserve Board eagle logo links to home page
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
Finance and Economics Discussion Series logo links to FEDS home page Sacrifice Ratios and Monetary Policy Credibility: Do Smaller Budget Deficits, Inflation-Indexed Debt, and Inflation Targets Lower Disinflation Costs?
J. Benson Durham

Abstract: A growing empirical literature addresses the determinants of the sacrifice ratio, an imperfect measure of the tradeoff between inflation and aggregate output. This study endeavors to advance previous studies in three ways. First, the literature does not satisfactorily examine key fiscal and monetary policy practices that arguably affect policymaking credibility. These include the stock (and flow) of government debt, the issuance of inflation-indexed bonds, and the existence of explicit inflation targets. Second, previous studies unfortunately exclude non-OECD countries. Third, the literature is divided with respect to research design, and therefore this study produces sensitivity analyses of previous results. Given these addenda, the results generally suggest that credibility proxies are largely sensitive to research design. However, some data do support the hypothesis that governments with an incentive, rather than perhaps a publicized objective, to lower inflation achieve lower sacrifice ratios.

Keywords: Monetary policy, sacrifice ratios

Full paper (170 KB PDF)

Home | FEDS | List of 2001 FEDS papers
To comment on this site, please fill out our feedback form.
Last update: November 30, 2001