Inflation Targeting and Pass-through Rate in East Asian Economies

Hiroyuki Taguchi, Woong-Ki Sohn
JEL codes: 
PRI Discussion Paper Series (No.10A-08)

This article sets out to assess the performance of inflation targeting (IT) frameworks from the perspective of the pass-through effect of external price shocks into consumer price inflation, focusing on the four East Asian economies which have adopted IT, during the period of 1990-2009. We first examine their monetary policy rules to identify the IT implementation, and then investigate the linkage between inflation-responsive rules and pass-through rates, as suggested by Gagnon and Ihrig (2004). Our main findings are as follows. First, under the IT adoption, Korea has taken an inflation responsive rule in a forward-looking manner, while Indonesia and Thailand have adopted the rule in a backward-looking manner. Second, only Korea has lost pass-through under IT adoption, thereby showing the clear linkage between inflation-responsive rules and the loss of pass-through. Third, the sensitivity test of inflation expectations to import price shocks in Korea also supports this linkage. These findings imply that IT adoption, if conducted in a forward-looking manner, can be a resisting power against external price shocks, even in small, open, emerging market economies, as tested under the latest global financial crisis in Korea.