Monetary Policy Strategies for Latin America
Frederic S. Mishkin, Miguel A. Savastano
The paper examines possible monetary policy strategies for Latin America that may help lock-in the gains in the fight against inflation attained by the region during the 1990s. We start by calling for a refocus of the debate about the conduct of monetary policy away from thinking that it is about whether the nominal exchange rate should be fixed or flexible. Instead we argue that the focus should be on whether the monetary policy regime appropriately constrains discretion in monetary policymaking. This focus suggest that there are three basic frameworks that deserve serious discussion as possible, long-run strategies for monetary policy in Latin America: a hard exchange-rate peg, monetary targeting, and inflation targeting. We look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of these strategies and then examine the recent track record of monetary policy in some Latin American countries for clues as to which of the three strategies might be best suited to economies in the region.