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Optimal Exchange Rate Regimes: Turning Mundell-Fleming's Dictum on Its Head

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  • Lahiri, Amartya
  • Singh, Rajesh
  • Vegh, Carlos

Abstract

A famous dictum in open economy macroeconomics -- which obtains in the Mundell-Fleming world of sticky prices and perfect capital mobility -- holds that the choice of the optimal exchange rate regime should depend on the type of shock hitting the economy. If shocks are predominantly real, a flexible exchange rate is optimal, whereas if shocks are mainly monetary, a fixed exchange rate is optimal. There is no obvious reason, however, why this paradigm should be the most appropriate one to think about this important issue. Arguably, asset market frictions may be as pervasive as goods market frictions (particularly in developing countries). In this light, we show that in a model with flexible prices and asset market frictions, the Mundell-Fleming dictum is turned on its head: flexible rates are optimal in the presence of monetary shocks, whereas fixed rates are optimal in response to real shocks. We thus conclude that the choice of an optimal exchange rate regime should depend not only on the type of shock (real versus monetary) but also on the type of friction (goods versus asset market).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12816.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12816

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
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  1. repec:rus:hseeco:124089 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Stephen Ching & Michael B. Devereux, 2003. "Mundell Revisited: a Simple Approach to the Costs and Benefits of a Single Currency Area," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 674-691, 09.
  3. Amartya Lahiri & Rajesh Singh & Carlos A. Vegh, 2007. "Segmented Asset Markets and Optimal Exchange Rate Regimes," NBER Working Papers 13154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Leslie Lipschitz, 1978. "Exchange Rate Policies for Developing Countries: Some Simple Arguments for Intervention (Les politiques de taux de change et les pays en voie de développement: quelques arguments simples en faveur ," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(4), pages 650-675, December.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
  6. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 2004. "Balance Sheets and Exchange Rate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1183-1193, September.
  7. Rajesh Singh & Amartya Lahiri & Carlos Vegh, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Asset Market Segmentation," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 643, Econometric Society.
  8. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Extensive Margins and the Demand for Money at Low Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 961-991, October.
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Cited by:
  1. G. C. Lim & Paul D. McNelis, 2008. "Cyclical Government Spending, Income Inequality and Welfare in Small Open Economies," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n18, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen & Vegh, Carlos & Velasco, Andres, 2008. "Money, Crises, and Transition Essays in Honor of Guillermo A. Calvo: An Introduction," MPRA Paper 13232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Ouchen, Mariam, 2013. "Optimal choice of an exchange rate regime: a critical literature review," MPRA Paper 43907, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Jan 2013.
  4. Dąbrowski, Marek A. & Śmiech, Sławomir & Papież, Monika, 2013. "Monetary policy options for mitigating the impact of the global financial crisis on emerging market economies," MPRA Paper 56337, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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