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The Role of Openness in the Debate on Rules vs. Discretion: A Simple Exposition

Listed author(s):
  • Guender, Alfred V
  • McCaw, Sharon

In this paper, we examine to what extent the degree of openness matters for the conduct of monetary policy. Our findings suggest that the stabilising properties of nominal income and price level targeting often reported in the literature on monetary policy in closed economies do not carry over to an economy that imports an intermediate input. We also show that the inverse link between openness and average inflation reported by Romer (1993) obtains under discretion. Finally, we compare and contrast discretion to the various rule-based strategies of monetary policy using policy frontiers. In all but one comparison greater openness makes discretion more attractive relative to the rule-based strategies of monetary policy. Nevertheless, in light of empirical estimates for the size of the variances of demand and supply shocks, the case for rule-based monetary policy strategies cannot be dismissed. Rule-based strategies perform better against discretion in the face of supply disturbances rather than demand disturbances. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd/University of Adelaide and Flinders University of South Australia

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Australian Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 40 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 91-110

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecp:v:40:y:2001:i:1:p:91-110
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  1. David Romer, 1991. "Openness and inflation: theory and evidence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  2. Lane, Philip R., 1997. "Inflation in open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 327-347, May.
  3. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "Nominal income targeting in an open-economy optimizing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 553-578, June.
  4. Maria Cristina Terra, 1995. "Openess and inflation: a new assessment," Textos para discussão 339, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  5. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-211, May.
  6. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
  7. William Poole, 1970. "Optimal Choice of Monetary Policy Instruments in a Simple Stochastic Macro Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 197-216.
  8. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 5893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hardouvelis, Gikas A., 1992. "Monetary policy games, inflationary bias, and openness," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 147-164, January.
  10. William Poole, 1970. "Optimal choice of monetary policy instruments in a simple stochastic macro model," Staff Studies 57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  12. Bohn, Henning, 1991. "Time consistency of monetary policy in the open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 249-266, May.
  13. Froyen, Richard & Guender, Alfred, 2000. "Alternative Monetary Policy Rules for Small Open Economies," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 721-740, November.
  14. Robert C. Feenstra, "undated". "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Department of Economics 98-06, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  15. Asako, Kazumi & Wagner, Helmut, 1992. "Nominal Income Targeting versus Money Supply Targeting," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 39(2), pages 167-187, May.
  16. Benavie, Arthur & Froyen, Richard, 1991. "A Note on Optimal Monetary and Wage Indexation Policies in a Small Open Economy," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(57), pages 334-340, December.
  17. Bennett T. McCallum, 1992. "A Reconsideration of the Uncovered Interest Parity Relationship," NBER Working Papers 4113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Frankel, Jeffrey, 1995. "The Stabilizing Properties of a Nominal GNP Rule," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 318-334, May.
  19. Duguay, Pierre, 1994. "Empirical evidence on the strength of the monetary transmission mechanism in Canada: An aggregate approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 39-61, February.
  20. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "Can international monetary policy cooperation be counterproductive?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3-4), pages 199-217, May.
  21. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
  22. David Romer, 1998. "A New Assessment of Openness and Inflation: Reply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 649-652.
  23. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
  24. Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1989. "Monetary Policy Strategies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 612-632, September.
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