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RESEARCH PAPER
Initial Monetary Policy Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Inflation Targeting Economies
 
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Economic Analysis and Research Department, Narodowy Bank Polski, Warsaw, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Joanna Niedźwiedzińska   

Economic Analysis and Research Department, Narodowy Bank Polski, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2021-06-29
Final revision date: 2021-10-12
Acceptance date: 2021-11-28
Publication date: 2021-12-28
 
GNPJE 2021;308(4):125–165
 
KEYWORDS
JEL CLASSIFICATION CODES
ABSTRACT
The monetary policy response to COVID-19 in various economies around the world was in many ways exceptional. This paper investigates several aspects of this response among 28 inflation targeters by looking at actions undertaken by selected monetary authorities at the outset of the pandemic-induced crisis. Evidently, the reviewed central banks assessed the pandemic to be a clear-cut case for loosening monetary policy. They promptly announced expansionary decisions, often at extraordinary meetings, using a possibly broad set of measures, with not much hesitation before reaching for unconventional ones. One of the key aspects of the response was how quickly the authorities reacted to the shock. It turned out that, on average, advanced economies announced their initial policy actions within a month, whereas emerging market economies were twice as fast. As shown by a simple econometric exercise, this difference can to a great extent be explained by the time when the first COVID-19 cases were recorded in a country, the stringency of the adopted pandemic restrictions, and the need for liquidity provisions in economies with less deep financial systems. Of relevance were also variables related to having room for manoeuvre with respect to nonstandard measures and the deviation of inflation from the target.
 
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