Assessing the Impacts and Policy Alternatives
Edited by Gerald A. Epstein and A. Erinc Yeldan
The chapters in this edited volume report on the results of a three year international research project designed to evaluate the impacts of the inflation targeting approach to central banking which has swept the global economic landscape in the last decade or so. Moving beyond critique, though, our main motivation for this project has been to develop socially useful alternatives to inflation targeting. This task has become only more crucial over the years since we began the project, because, as we describe more fully in the following pages, we believe inflation targeting has largely had negative consequences for economic development, equality and poverty reduction, especially in the developing world, even as more and more countries adopt this flawed monetary policy regime. This has become especially apparent as a global financial crisis engulfs much of the world while many central banks have been slow to respond, partly due to their obsession with keeping commodity inflation in the low single digits. In structuring the project, we have been anxious to avoid the one size fits all approach that underlies not only inflation targeting itself but also much of the policy approach of the neoliberal ‘Washington Consensus’ of which inflation targeting has become a key part. To that end, the authors of the country study chapters were tasked with designing concrete, countryspecific alternatives to inflation targeting. In addition, other authors have written studies of long neglected themes in central banking, including the gender impacts and class aspects of monetary policy. While most of...