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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20060614
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  1. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2002. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  3. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. 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.
  7. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Working Papers 96-02, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  8. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
  9. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
  10. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel & Cedric Tille, 1999. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through and the Welfare Effects of the Euro," NBER Working Papers 7382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Giancarlo CORSETTI & Luca DEDOLA, 2003. "Macroeconomics of International Price Discrimination," Economics Working Papers ECO2003/20, European University Institute.
  12. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," Research Working Paper 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  13. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," International Finance 0004002, EconWPA.
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  15. Rogers, J.H. & Jenkins, M.A., 1993. "Haircuts or Hysteresis? Sources of Movements in Real Exchange Rates," Papers 4-93-6, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
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  18. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, June.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Maurice Obstfeld., 2001. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C01-121, University of California at Berkeley.
  22. 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.
  23. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2004. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 10986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 1997. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," NBER Working Papers 6307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. David Parsley Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Currency Arrangements And Goods Market Integration: A Price Based Approach," International Finance 0211004, EconWPA.
  26. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
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