Inflation and Monetary Policy: What South African Newspapers Report in An Era of Policy Transparency

42 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2019

See all articles by Monique Reid

Monique Reid

Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch

Zinette Bergman

Department of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel

Stan Du Plessis

University of Stellenbosch

Manfred Max Bergman

Department of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel

Pierre L. Siklos

Wilfrid Laurier University - School of Business & Economics; Balsillie school of international affairs

Date Written: July 4, 2019

Abstract

Inflation is a monetary policy outcome, but in the short to medium term, price and wage decisions are co-determined by the public and private sectors. Many central banks have adopted transparency as a strategic policy approach, whereby communication of monetary policy goals is used as a public anchor. While the central bank’s strategy involves carefully crafted, deliberately simplified messages, most of the public tends to access inflation-related information through the media. In this paper, we examine South African newspaper articles to identify how inflation is presented in the media and the role of the media, through this presentation, in the process of shaping public opinion around inflation expectations. We do this in two ways. First, we examine how inflation is presented in the media and then we identify the various actors presented in the media, their positions on inflation, and how these relate to each other. The systematic analysis of the media’s presentation of inflation allows us to identify some challenges to the central bank’s communication strategy.

Keywords: inflation, inflation expectation, South African Reserve Bank, content configuration analysis, newspaper, media

JEL Classification: E31, E52, E58, E71, Z13

Suggested Citation

Reid, Monique and Bergman, Zinette and Du Plessis, Stan and Bergman, Manfred Max and Siklos, Pierre L., Inflation and Monetary Policy: What South African Newspapers Report in An Era of Policy Transparency (July 4, 2019). CAMA Working Paper No. 48/2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3414695 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3414695

Monique Reid

Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch ( email )

South Africa

Zinette Bergman

Department of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

Stan Du Plessis

University of Stellenbosch ( email )

South Africa

Manfred Max Bergman

Department of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

Pierre L. Siklos (Contact Author)

Wilfrid Laurier University - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
75 University Avenue W.
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
Canada
519-884-0710 Ext.. 3491 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://pierrelsiklos.com

Balsillie school of international affairs ( email )

67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2
Canada

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