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The Mundellian Trilemma and Optimal Monetary Policy in a World of High Capital Mobility

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Abstract

This paper proposes that the Mundellian Trilemma remains valid despite the emergence of a world financial cycle. A clear distinction must be made between monetary policy independence and insulation of an open economy’s financial system. A flexible exchange rate allows an optimizing central bank to chart an independent course but does not insulate the domestic economy from foreign monetary or financial shocks. The gains from a flexible exchange rate may be considerable and vary in accordance with the mandate of the central bank. The Mundellian Trilemma highlights the acute shortage of policy instruments and resulting tradeoffs among policy goals. We show that macroprudential policy in the form of an interest equalization tax, enhances the ability of an optimizing central bank to effectively stabilize domestic output and inflation in the presence of policy changes abroad and potentially destabilizing capital flows.

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  • Richard T. Froyen & Alfred V. Guender, 2021. "The Mundellian Trilemma and Optimal Monetary Policy in a World of High Capital Mobility," Working Papers in Economics 21/08, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:21/08
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    File URL: https://repec.canterbury.ac.nz/cbt/econwp/2108.pdf
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    Keywords

    Mundellian Trilemma; policy independence; capital mobility; instrument shortage; capital controls;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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