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Pegs and Pain

Author

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  • Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie
  • Uribe, Martín

Abstract

This paper quantifies the costs of adhering to a fixed-exchange-rate arrangement, such as a currency union, for emerging economies. To this end it develops a novel dynamic stochastic disequilibrium model of a small open economy with monetary nonneutrality due to downward nominal wage rigidity. In the model, a negative external shock causes persistent unemployment because the fixed exchange rate and downward wage rigidity stand in the way of real depreciation. In these circumstances, optimal exchange-rate policy calls for large devaluations. In a calibrated version of the model, a large contraction, defined as a two-standard-deviation decline in tradable output causes the unemployment rate to rise by more than 20 percentage points under a peg. The required devaluation under the optimal exchange-rate policy is more than 50 percent. The median welfare cost of a currency peg is shown to be enormous, about 10 percent of lifetime consumption. Adhering to a fixed exchange-rate arrangement is found to be more costly when initial fundamentals are characterized by high past wages, large external debt, high country premia, or unfavorable terms of trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2011. "Pegs and Pain," CEPR Discussion Papers 8275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8275
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2007. "The external wealth of nations mark II: Revised and extended estimates of foreign assets and liabilities, 1970-2004," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 223-250, November.
    7. Martín González Rozada & Pablo Andrés Neumeyer & Alejandra Clemente & Diego Luciano Sasson & Nicholas Trachter, 2004. "The Elasticity of Substitution in Demand for Non-Tradable Goods in Latin America: The Case of Argentina," Research Department Publications 3179, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Akıncı, Özge, 2013. "Global financial conditions, country spreads and macroeconomic fluctuations in emerging countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 358-371.
    2. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2013. "Understanding the gains from wage flexibility: The exchange rate connection," Economics Working Papers 1408, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2016.
    3. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Yuliy Sannikov, 2015. "International Credit Flows and Pecuniary Externalities," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 297-338, January.
    4. Luca Fornaro, 2012. "International debt deleveraging," Economics Working Papers 1401, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2016.
    5. Fornaro, Luca, 2015. "Financial crises and exchange rate policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 202-215.
    6. David R Baqaee, 2014. "Asymmetric In?ation Expectations, Downward Rigidity of Wages,and Asymmetric Business Cycles," Working Paper 139681, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    7. Benigno, Gianluca & Converse, Nathan & Fornaro, Luca, 2015. "Large capital inflows, sectoral allocation, and economic performance," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 60-87.
    8. Ricardo Reis, 2013. "The Portugese Slump and Crash and the Euro Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(1 (Spring), pages 143-210.
    9. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2012. "The Case For Temporary Inflation in the Eurozone," CEPR Discussion Papers 9133, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Mandelman, Federico S., 2013. "Monetary and exchange rate policy under remittance fluctuations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 128-147.
    11. Weithing Zhang & Thomas Mertens & Tarek Hassan, 2014. "Currency Manipulation," 2014 Meeting Papers 401, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Zhen Huo & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2013. "Paradox of thrift recessions," Staff Report 490, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    13. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra & Sanjay R. Singh & Lawrence H. Summers, 2016. "A Contagious Malady? Open Economy Dimensions of Secular Stagnation," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(4), pages 581-634, November.
    14. Steven Pennings & Esther Perez Ruiz, 2013. "Fiscal Consolidations and Growth; Does Speed Matter?," IMF Working Papers 13/230, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Anton Korinek & Alp Simsek, 2016. "Liquidity Trap and Excessive Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 699-738, March.
    16. repec:rfe:zbefri:v:35:y:2017:i:1:p:73-95 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Currency pegs; currency unions; devaluation; disequilibrium model; downward wage rigidity; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • 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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