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A Simple Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis of the Trade-off Between Fixed and Floating Exchange Rates

  • Michael B. Devereux

    (University of British Columbia)

This paper provides a complete analytical characterization of the positive and normative effects of alternative exchange rate regimes in a simple two-country sticky-price dynamic general equilibrium model with money, technology, and government spending shocks. A central question addressed is whether fixing the exchange rate prevents macroeconomic adjustment in relative prices from occurring, in face of shocks. In the model, the exchange rate regime has implications for both the volatility and mean of macroeconomic aggregates. But the effects of the exchange rate regime depend upon both the stance of monetary policy and the way in which the exchange rate is pegged. With a passive monetary policy, a cooperative pegged exchange rate regime has no implications for macroeconomic volatility, relative to a floating regime, but implies a higher mean level of employment, capital stock, and real GDP. When monetary policy is determined optimally however, a fixed exchange rate regime leads to higher employment volatility and a lower mean level of employment and real GDP. Therefore, whether fixing the exchange rate involves a welfare cost depends critically upon the flexibility of monetary policy in responding to macroeconomic shocks.

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1544.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1544
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  1. Betts, Caroline & Devereux, Michael B, 2000. "International Monetary Policy Coordination and Competitive Depreciation: A Reevaluation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 722-45, November.
  2. Martin Feldstein, 1998. "The Political Economy of the European Economic and Monetary Union: Political Sources of an Economic Liability," NBER Working Papers 6150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," CEPR Discussion Papers 1131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare And Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445, May.
  5. Barry Eichengreen., 1990. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area?," Economics Working Papers 90-151, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-25, July.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," International Finance 0004002, EconWPA.
  8. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  9. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 1998. "Fixed vs. Floating Exchange Rates: How Price Setting Affects the Optimal Choice of Exchange-Rate Regime," NBER Working Papers 6867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Obstfeld, M., 1998. "Risk and Exchange Rate," Papers 193, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  11. 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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