Macro-fiscal analysis
Working paper

Structural estimates of the South African sacrifice ratio

Hayelom Yrgaw Gereziher and Naser Yenus Nuru
January 2021

This paper estimates the output cost of fighting inflation—the sacrifice ratio—for the South African economy using quarterly data spanning the period 1998Q1–2019Q3. To compute the sacrifice ratio, the structural vector autoregressive model developed by Cecchetti and Rich (2001) based on Cecchetti (1994) is employed. Our findings show us a small sacrifice ratio, which lies within the range 0.00002–0.231 per cent with an average of 0.031 per cent, indicating a low level of output to be sacrificed while fighting inflation. Hence, the reserve bank is recommended to sustain an inflation rate within the target range and reap the benefits of a predictable and stable price path, as restrictive monetary policy has only a transitory effect on real variables like output.