The Bolivian inflation process is analyzed utilizing a time-varying univariate and multivariate Markov-switching model (TMS). With monthly data and, beginning in the late 1930s, inflation is accurately described by a univariate TMS. The intercept for the high-inflation regime is significantly higher than for the low-inflation regime and the actual inflation rate mirrors the smoothing probabilities of the Markov process. Additionally, the predicted duration of each regime closely fits the periods when the country experienced low and inordinate high inflation rates. From a long-run perspective and utilizing a multivariate TMS, the results generally fall in line with what the quantity theory of money predicts. In the high-inflation regime, money growth increases inflation (almost) one-for-one, as classical economics contends. From a short-run perspective and in the high-inflation regime, inflation is almost exclusively explained by a negative output gap. In the low-inflation regime, lagged inflation is the most important determinant of inflation, in line with price stickiness expectations. Partitioning the sources of inflation demonstrate that, from a long-run perspective and in the high inflation regime, differences in inflation are mostly explained by GDP growth; in the low-inflation regime, money growth and velocity growth are the principal factors explaining the variance of inflation. From a short-run perspective, the output gap explains almost all regression variance in the high-inflation regime, and past inflation does the same during times of low inflation, though in both cases the R2
is low which precludes making definite statements about the sources of variability in inflation.
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