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Real Exchange Rate Overshooting and the Output Cost of Bringing Down Inflation

In: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics

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  • Willem H. Buiter
  • Marcus Miller

Abstract

Implementing a 'gradualist' policy of monetary contraction, in an open economy with a freely floating exchange rate but with nominal inertia in domestic labor costs, can lead to prompt and substantial changes in the nominal and real exchange rate. One of the virtues claimed for such exchange rate 'overshooting', however, is its immediate effect on the price level and so on domestic wage and price inflation. In this paper we show that, in a model which is 'super-neutral' and has nominal inertia in both the level of labor costs and their trend or core rate of growth, this early overshooting of the exchange rate does not succeed in cutting the output costs of reducing steady-state inflation. Those output and unemployment costs which are initially avoided by over- valuing the currency have to be paid later when this overvaluation is corrected. Relative to other policies which achieve the same effect on steady-state inflation, exchange rate overshooting brings inflation down more quickly.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Georges de Ménil & Robert J. Gordon, 1991. "International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number de_m91-2.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11682.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11682

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    1. Tobin, James, 1977. "How Dead Is Keynes?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(4), pages 459-68, October.
    2. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1977. "Price Behavior in the Light of Balance of Payments Theories," NBER Working Papers 0181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Liviatan, Nissan, 1980. "Anti-Inflationary Monetary Policy and the Capital Import Tax," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 171, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Sargan, J D, 1980. "A Model of Wage-Price Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 97-112, January.
    5. Minford, Patrick, 1980. "A rational expectations model of the United Kingdom under fixed and floating exchange rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 293-355, January.
    6. Isard, Peter, 1977. "How Far Can We Push the "Law of One Price"?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 942-48, December.
    7. Buiter, Willem H, 1978. "Short-run and Long-run Effects of External Disturbances under a Floating Exchange Rate," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 45(179), pages 251-72, August.
    8. Willem H. Buiter & Marcus H. Miller, 1980. "Monetary Policy and International Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 0591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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