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Wage Indexation and Exchange Market Interventions in a Small Open Economy

  • Stephen J. Turnovsky

The analysis of this paper stresses the interdependence between wage indexation on the one hand, and exchange market intervention on the other,as tools of'macroeconomic stabilization policy in a small open economy subject to stochastic disturbances. It is shown how the choice of eitherpolicy instrument impinges on the effectiveness of the other. In particular,if the domestic money wage is fully indexed to some weighted average of the domestic and foreign price levels, then irrespective of what that chosen weight may be, exchange market intervention is rendered totally ineffective insofar as the stabilization of the real part of the domestic economy is concerned. Likewise, if the monetary authority intervenes in the exchange market so as to exactly accommodate for nominal movements in the demand for money, thereby rendering the excess demand for money dependent only upon real variables, then any form of wage indexation is totally ineffective for the stabilization of the real part of the system. In either polar case, the respective instrument can stabilize the domestic price level. Alternative combinations of policy for the stabilization for domestic and foreign disturbances are considered.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (1983)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 574-92

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:16:y:1983:i:4:p:574-92
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  1. Boyer, Russell S, 1978. "Optimal Foreign Exchange Market Intervention," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1045-55, December.
  2. Brock, William A, 1974. "Money and Growth: The Case of Long Run Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(3), pages 750-77, October.
  3. Cox, W. Michael, 1980. "Unanticipated money, output, and prices in the small economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 359-384, July.
  4. Robert P. Flood & Nancy Peregrim Marion, 1980. "The Transmission of Disturbances under Alternative Exchange-Rate Regimeswith Optimal Indexing," NBER Working Papers 0500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Richard C. Marston, 1982. "Wages, Relative Prices and the Choice between Fixed and Flexible Exchange Rates," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(1), pages 87-103, February.
  6. Dale W. Henderson, 1979. "Financial policies in open economies," International Finance Discussion Papers 133, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
  8. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  9. Karni, Edi, 1983. "On Optimal Wage Indexation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 282-92, April.
  10. Richard C. Marston, 1981. "Wages, Relative Prices, and the Choice between Fixed and Flexible Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 0793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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