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Inflation Targeting in Open Economies: The Contradictions of Determinacy and Stability

Abstract

Since 1999, more than half of Latin American countries have put in practice inflation targeting regimes with the objective of maintaining price stability within a low inflation environment. Building on previous work, we argue that the adoption of this monetary regime was the result of a policy shift that began with the Washington Consensus, and which materialized sequentially in increased financial openness, greater exchange rate flexibility, leading eventually to the implementation of inflation targeting. We further sustain that in the case of an open economy, the use of inflation targeting leads to incoherent and contradictory results that severely question its alleged superiority over other monetary frameworks. Finally, we posit the need for comprehensive regulatory frameworks to deal with the complex dynamics and transmission mechanisms that characterize economies that have a high degree of financial openness, such as those of Latin America.

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