Research Discussion Paper – RDP 9701 Inflation Regimes and Inflation Expectations


There has been much talk in the popular press about the difficulty of attaining credibility in the bond markets for the low-inflation policies that have been adopted by a number of central banks in recent years. This credibility problem is particularly severe for those countries that have a history of high inflation. Gaining credibility is often viewed in the context of learning by the public about the central bank's true intentions. However, this paper argues that a more important aspect of credibility – at least for long-term inflation expectations – may be public views about how future changes in personnel, electoral results, or economic shocks may affect central bank behaviour. In other words, there is always a positive probability that the current regime will end. Views about the nature of possible future regimes are likely to be influenced by observed past regimes.

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