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The Macroeconomic Stabilization Of Tariff Shocks: What Is The Optimal Monetary Response?

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  • Bergin, P. R.
  • Corsetti, G.

Abstract

In the wake of Brexit and the Trump tariff war, central banks have had to reconsider the role of monetary policy in managing the economic effects of tariff shocks, which may induce a slowdown while raising inflation. This paper studies the optimal monetary policy responses using a New Keynesian model that includes elements from the trade literature, including global value chains in production, firm dynamics, and comparative advantage between two traded sectors. We find that, in response to a symmetric tariff war, the optimal policy response is generally expansionary: central banks stabilize the output gap at the expense of further aggravating short-run inflation---contrary to the prescription of the standard Taylor rule. In response to a tariff imposed unilaterally by a trading partner, it is optimal to engineer currency depreciation up to offsetting the effects of tariffs on relative prices, without completely redressing the effects of the tariff on the broader set of macroeconomic aggregates.

Suggested Citation

  • Bergin, P. R. & Corsetti, G., 2020. "The Macroeconomic Stabilization Of Tariff Shocks: What Is The Optimal Monetary Response?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2026, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:2026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Paul R. Bergin & Giancarlo Corsetti, 2020. "Beyond Competitive Devaluations: The Monetary Dimensions of Comparative Advantage," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 246-286, October.
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    1. The Macroeconomic Stabilization Of Tariff Shocks: What Is The Optimal Monetary Response?
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2020-06-29 20:30:56

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    Cited by:

    1. Jacquinot, Pascal & Lozej, Matija & Pisani, Massimiliano, 2020. "Macroeconomic Effects of Tariffs Shocks: The Role of the Effective Lower Bound and the Labour Market," Research Technical Papers 04/RT/20, Central Bank of Ireland.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tariff shock; tariff war; optimal monetary policy; comparative advantage; production chains;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General

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