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Should Central Banks Target Consumer Prices or the Exchange Rate?

  • Tatiana Kirsanova
  • Campbell Leith
  • Simon Wren-Lewis

In this article we consider two arguments suggesting that monetary authorities in an open economy should target output price inflation and not consumer price inflation. The first suggests that output price inflation corresponds to the distortions caused by price rigidity. The second shows how policy rules involving consumer price inflation can induce instability because of the feedback from interest rates to consumer price inflation via the exchange rate. We examine both arguments in the context of an open economy which is subject to a range of shocks. We show that both arguments remain robust but that there is a case for including a terms of trade or real exchange rate gap term in the authorities' welfare function alongside the output gap and output price inflation. Copyright 2006 Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 116 (2006)
Issue (Month): 512 (06)
Pages: F208-F231

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:116:y:2006:i:512:p:f208-f231
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  1. Leith, Campbell B & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 1997. "Interest Rate Feedback Rules in an Open Economy with Forward Looking Inflation," Discussion Papers 9704, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  2. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2004. "Monetary policy and exchange rate volatility in a small open economy," Economics Working Papers 835, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Alan Sutherland, 2005. "Cost-push shocks and monetary policy in open economies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 1-33, January.
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  7. Campbell Leith & Jim Malley, 2002. "Estimated General Equilibrium Models for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy in the US and Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 699, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," NBER Working Papers 10838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Nicoletta Batini & Stephen P. Millard & Richard Harrison, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules For An Open Economy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 361, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fiorella De Fiore & Zheng Liu, 2003. "Openness and Equilibrium Determinacy under Interest Rate Rules," Emory Economics 0310, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  12. Kollmann, Robert, 2002. "Monetary Policy Rules in the Open Economy: Effects on Welfare and Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 3279, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Batini, Nicoletta & Levine, Paul & Pearlman, Joseph G., 2004. "Indeterminacy with inflation-forecast-based rules in a two-bloc model," Working Paper Series 0340, European Central Bank.
  14. Gianluca Benigno & Pierpaolo Benigno, 2004. "Designing target rules for international monetary policy cooperation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3759, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Amit Kara & Edward Nelson, 2003. "The Exchange Rate and Inflation in the UK," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(5), pages 585-608, November.
  16. Wren-Lewis, Simon, 1997. "The Choice of Exchange Rate Regime," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1157-68, July.
  17. Gianluca Benigno & Pierpaolo Benigno, 2003. "Price Stability in Open Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 743-764.
  18. Currie, David & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 1989. "Evaluating Blueprints for the Conduct of International Macro Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 264-69, May.
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