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Investigación económica

versión impresa ISSN 0185-1667


ROSSI, Sergio. The Swiss National Bank as a flexible inflation targeter. Inv. Econ [online]. 2009, vol.68, n.spe, pp.79-102. ISSN 0185-1667.

The monetary-policy strategy that the Swiss National Bank has been implementing since January 1, 2000 offers an interesting case study for those central banks aiming to refer to a 'principles-based' framework as a valid alternative to a rigidly defined inflation-targeting regime. This paper shows that Swiss monetary policy, characterized by its high flexibility degree since the years of monetary targeting, has been able to consider both price stability and economic stabilization in its decision-making process. As a matter of fact, the central bank in Switzerland stands ready to allow temporary deviations from its price stability goal, when the domestic economy is (likely to be) suffering from output and employment losses, owing to internal or foreign disturbances or economic shocks. All in all, empirical evidence supports a monetary-policy regime marrying a long-run nominal anchor for price stability -defined by the central bank rather than government- with short-run flexibility in view of actual and expected economic performance in the real sector. Inflation-targeting monetary authorities ought to consider moving from a hierarchical view of policy goals to a flexible approach based on sound macroeconomic principles. This case study shows the way for any central banks enjoying a high level of credibility and reputation, and willing to improve the policy record on both (real and monetary) fronts.

Palabras llave : inflation targeting; fixation of interest rate; macroeconomic stabilization; strategies of monetary policy; price stability.

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