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Optimal monetary policy in a currency union with interest rate spreads

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  • Bhattarai, Saroj
  • Lee, Jae Won
  • Park, Woong Yong

Abstract

We introduce “financial imperfections” – asymmetric net wealth positions, incomplete risk-sharing, and interest rate spreads across member countries – in a prototypical two-country currency union model and study implications for monetary policy transmission mechanism and optimal policy. In addition to, and independent from, the standard transmission mechanism associated with nominal rigidities, financial imperfections introduce a wealth redistribution role for monetary policy. Moreover, the two mechanisms reinforce each other and amplify the effects of monetary policy. On the normative side, financial imperfections, via interactions with nominal rigidities, generate two novel policy trade-offs. First, the central bank needs to pay attention to distributional efficiency in addition to macroeconomic (and price level) stability, which implies that a strict inflation targeting policy of setting union-wide inflation to zero is never optimal. Second, the interactions lead to a trade-off in stabilizing relative consumption versus the relative price gap (the deviation of relative prices from their efficient level) across countries, which implies that the central bank allows for less flexibility in relative prices. Finally, we consider how the central bank should respond to a financial shock that causes an increase in the interest rate spread. Under optimal policy, the central bank strongly decreases the deposit rate, which reduces aggregate and distributional inefficiencies by mitigating the drop in output and inflation and the rise in relative consumption and prices. Such a policy response can be well approximated by a spread-adjusted Taylor rule as it helps the real interest rate track the efficient rate of interest.

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  • Bhattarai, Saroj & Lee, Jae Won & Park, Woong Yong, 2015. "Optimal monetary policy in a currency union with interest rate spreads," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 375-397.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:96:y:2015:i:2:p:375-397
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2015.02.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Cúrdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2016. "Credit Frictions and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 30-65.
    2. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Romei, Federica, 2014. "Debt deleveraging and the exchange rate," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-16.
    3. Pierpaolo Benigno & Gauti B. Eggertsson & Federica Romei, 2014. "Dynamic Debt Deleveraging and Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 20556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Engel, Charles, 2016. "International coordination of central bank policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 13-24.
    5. D’Aguanno, Lucio, 2015. "Monetary Policy and Welfare in a Currency Union," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1082, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Currency union; Optimal monetary policy; Redistributive monetary policy; Financial frictions; Interest rate spreads; Spread-adjusted Taylor rule;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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