The Transmission Mechanism in Tanzania

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This paper is the outcome of research collaboration between staff of the Department of Economic Research and Policy at the Bank of Tanzania and the International Growth Centre.

Its objective is to develop a systematic approach to the investigation of the effectiveness of monetary transmission in low-income countries that can be applied specifically to the five EAC countries. In the vast majority of low-income countries, financing and political constraints have traditionally impaired the usefulness of fiscal policy as a short-run stabilization device. While fiscal dominance has also impaired the effectiveness of monetary policy, this situation has been changing, as many low-income countries have increased the independence of their central banks. The ability of central banks to carry out this stabilization function, however, depends on the strength and reliability of the links between the policy instruments that they control and aggregate demand – i.e., on the effectiveness of monetary transmission. Unfortunately, this effectiveness cannot be taken for granted. Using Tanzania as a case study, Peter Montiel et al. undertake a systematic exploration of this issue.