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Expenditure switching vs. real exchange rate stabilization: competing objectives for exchange rate policy

  • Devereux, Michael B.
  • Engel, Charles

This paper develops a view of exchange rate policy as a trade-off between the desire to smooth fluctuations in real exchange rates so as to reduce distortions in consumption allocations, and the need to allow flexibility in the nominal exchange rate so as to facilitate terms of trade adjustment. We show that optimal nominal exchange rate volatility will reflect these competing objectives. The key determinants of how much the exchange rate should respond to shocks will depend on the extent and source of price stickiness, as well as the elasticity of substitution between home and foreign goods. Quantitatively, we find the optimal exchange rate volatility should be significantly less than would be inferred based solely on terms of trade considerations. Moreover, we find that the relationship between price stickiness and optimal exchange rate volatility may be non-monotonic. JEL Classification: F41, E52

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0614.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20060614
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  2. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2002. "Exchange Rates and Adjustment: Perspectives from the New Open- Economy Macroeconomics," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 20(S1), pages 23-46, December.
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  7. David Parsley Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Currency Arrangements And Goods Market Integration: A Price Based Approach," International Finance 0211004, EconWPA.
  8. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
  9. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1994. "How Wide is the Border?," NBER Working Papers 4829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H., 2001. "Deviations from purchasing power parity: causes and welfare costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 29-57, October.
  11. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2001. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt6796n8s0, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  12. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ariel T. Burstein & Joao C. Neves & Sergio Rebelo, 2000. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based-Stabilizations," NBER Working Papers 7862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2004. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 4810, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2000. "Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?," NBER Working Papers 7869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M., 1997. "Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 441-479, December.
  17. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
  18. Parsley, David C. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Explaining the border effect: the role of exchange rate variability, shipping costs, and geography," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 87-105, October.
  19. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1999. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," NBER Working Papers 7313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2002. "Why Are Rates of Inflation So Low After Large Devaluations?," NBER Working Papers 8748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2003. "Why is Inflation so Low after Large Devaluations?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0308, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  23. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare And Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445, May.
  24. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, June.
  25. Rogers, John H. & Jenkins, Michael, 1995. "Haircuts or hysteresis? Sources of movements in real exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 339-360, May.
  26. 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.
  27. Mussa, Michael, 1986. "Nominal exchange rate regimes and the behavior of real exchange rates: Evidence and implications," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 117-214, January.
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