Over the last few years, many countries have adopted inflation targets. The objective of this paper is to report some empirical results that bear on the link between the adoption of inflation targets and the behaviour of the main macroeconomic variables. After a discussion of some recent articles analyzing international experience, some simple statistical tests are presented for determining the link between the adoption of inflation targets, the credibility of monetary policy, and the behaviour of the major macroeconomic variables. The literature survey and empirical results lead the authors to conclude that certain statistical properties of inflation may have changed in recent years, and that monetary policy seems to have become more credible in a number of countries, including Canada. Yet the available data do not allow the authors to conclude with any certainty that explicit inflation targets have played a significant role in these changes.

Also published as:

Canadian Public Policy (0317-0861)
September 2000. Vol. 26, Iss. 3, pp. 295-310