Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe: Money Demand, Seigniorage and Aid Shocks
48 Pages Posted: 18 May 2010
Date Written: May 1, 2009
Zimbabwe has recently experienced record hyperinflation of 80 billion percent a month. This paper uses new data from Zimbabwe to investigate money demand under hyperinflation using an ARDL estimation for the period 1980-2008. The results produce plausible convergence rates and long- run elasticities, indicating that real money balances are cointegrated with the inflation rate. Evidence is also presented that suggests prices are being driven by increases in the money supply rather than by changes in price setting behaviour. The paper additionally uses the estimated elasticity on the inflation variable to calculate the maximum level of seigniorage revenue that could be raised in the economy. Actual seigniorage levels increased dramatically after 2000, with inflation eventually exceeding the rate required to maximize this revenue stream. This is discussed in relation to international financing constraints and the collapse of the domestic tax base.
Keywords: Hyperinflation, Cointegration, Money Demand, Parallel Market Exchange Rate, Zimbabwe
JEL Classification: E31, E41, E42, E58, E62, E63, E65, O24
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