Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Corralling Expectations: The Role of Institutions in (Hyper)Inflation

Hartwell, Christopher A and Szybisz, Martin Andres (2021): Corralling Expectations: The Role of Institutions in (Hyper)Inflation.

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Changes in prices and especially in aggregate price levels are subjected to complex dynamics and extreme endogeneity, as expectations, current conditions, policies, and the rules of the game combine to form inflationary outcomes. This paper explores how inflationary expectations are set – and limited – via an exploration of the role of institutions in corralling expectations. Using a continuous time formulation of the second derivative of the price level, we introduce expectations and institutional related variables to understand how expectations can become unstable. Testing the model on monthly institutional and macroeconomic data for several countries, we find that one institution in particular, property rights, keeps inflationary expectations in check and stops high inflation from becoming hyperinflation. In a situation where property rights have broken down, however, expectations are allowed to roam free and quickly become unstable.

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