The welfare costs of inflation and inflation uncertainty are well documented in the literature and empirical evidence on the link between the two is sparse in the case of Egypt. This paper investigates the causal relationship between inflation and inflation uncertainty in Egypt using monthly time series data during the period January 1974–April 2015. To endogenously control for any potential structural breaks in the inflation time series, Zivot and Andrews (2002) and Clemente–Montanes–Reyes (1998) unit root tests are used. The inflation–inflation uncertainty relation is modeled by the standard two-step approach as well as simultaneously using various versions of the GARCH-M model to control for any potential feedback effects. The analyses explicitly control for the effect of the Economic Reform and Structural Adjustment Program (ERSAP) undertaken by the Egyptian government in the early 1990s, which affected inflation rate and its associated volatility. Results show a high degree of inflation–volatility persistence in the response to inflationary shocks. Granger-causality test along with symmetric and asymmetric GARCH-M models indicate a statistically significant bi-directional positive relationship between inflation and inflation uncertainty, supporting both the Friedman–Ball and the Cukierman–Meltzer hypotheses. The findings are robust to the various estimation methods and model specifications. The findings of this paper support the view of adopting inflation-targeting policy in Egypt, after fulfilling its preconditions, to reduce the welfare cost of inflation and its related uncertainties. Monetary authorities in Egypt should enhance the credibility of monetary policy and attempt to reduce inflation uncertainty, which will help lower inflation rates.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.