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The Adjustment of Prices and the Adjustment of the Exchange Rate

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  • Charles Engel
  • James C. Morley

Abstract

The purchasing power parity puzzle relates to the adjustment of real exchange rates. Real exchange rates are extremely volatile, suggesting that temporary shocks emanate from the monetary sector. But the half-life of real exchange rate deviations is extremely large -- 2.5 to 5 years. This half-life seems too large to be explained by the slow adjustment of nominal prices. We offer a different interpretation. We maintain that nominal exchange rates and prices need not converge at the same rate, as is implicit in rational-expectations sticky-price models of the exchange rate. Evidence from an unobserved components model for nominal prices and nominal exchange rates that imposes relative purchasing power parity in the long run indicates that nominal exchange rates converge much more slowly than nominal prices. The real puzzle is why nominal exchange rates converge so slowly.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8550.

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Date of creation: Oct 2001
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8550

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  1. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
  2. Engel, Charles & Frankel, Jeffrey, 1984. "The secular inflation term in open-economy Phillips curves," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 161-164, March.
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  8. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1984. "Exchange Rate Dynamics with Sluggish Prices under Alternative Price-Adjustment Rules," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 159-74, February.
  9. Lothian, James R & Taylor, Mark P, 1996. "Real Exchange Rate Behavior: The Recent Float from the Perspective of the Past Two Centuries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 488-509, June.
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