This paper analyzes the choice of a nominal anchor in disinflation programs in chronic inflation countries. Both theory and evidence suggest several conclusions. (i) The recessionary effects associated with disinflation appear in the early stages of money-based programs but only in the late stages of exchange rate-based programs. (ii) Lack of credibility is more disruptive under fixed exchange rates than under floating exchange rates. (iii) Attempting to pursue a disinflationary policy while maintaining a given level of the real exchange rate is likely to be self-defeating. (iv) A high degree of currency substitution favors the exchange rate as the nominal anchor. Copyright 1994 Western Economic Association International.
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