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Openness and the case for flexible exchange rates

  • Giancarlo Corsetti

Models of stabilization in open economy traditionally emphasize the role of exchange rates as a substitute for nominal price flexibility in fostering relative price adjustment. This view has been recently criticized on the ground that, to the extent that prices are sticky in local currency, the exchange rate does not play the stabilizing role envisioned by the received wisdom. An important question is whether, for this very reason, stabilization policies should limit exchange rate movements, or even eliminate them altogether. In this paper, I re-assess this issue by extending the Corsetti and Pesenti (2001) model to allow for home bias in consumption, so that I can exploit the advantages of closed-form solutions. While this extension leaves most properties of the model unaffected, home bias implies that the real exchange rate in an efficient equilibrium is not constant, but fluctuates with the terms of trade. The weight that monetary authorities optimally place on stabilizing domestic marginal costs is increasing in Home bias. With asymmetric shocks, fixed exchange rates are incompatible with efficient monetary rules. Yet, the adverse welfare consequences of exchange rate movements constrain the optimal intensity of monetary responses to domestic shocks. Openness matters: the larger the import content of consumption, the lower the exchange rate volatility implied by optimal stabilization rules.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2005/21.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2005/21
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  1. Giancarlo CORSETTI & Luca DEDOLA, 2003. "Macroeconomics of International Price Discrimination," Economics Working Papers ECO2003/20, European University Institute.
  2. Hau, Harald, 2000. "Real Exchange Rate Volatility and Economic Openness: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2356, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad T., 2005. "The need for international policy coordination: what's old, what's new, what's yet to come?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 363-384, July.
  4. Faia, Ester & Monacelli, Tommaso, 2004. "Ramsey monetary policy and international relative prices," CFS Working Paper Series 2004/04, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  5. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2003. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange-Rate Flexibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 765-783.
  6. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2002. "Self-Validating Optimum Currency Areas," NBER Working Papers 8783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2005. "The simple geometry of transmission and stabilization in closed and open economies," Economics Working Papers ECO2005/26, European University Institute.
  8. Jordi Gal� & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 707-734.
  9. Harold L. Cole & Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Commodity Trade and International Risk Sharing: How Much Do Financial Markets Matter?," NBER Working Papers 3027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2002. "Openness, imperfect exchange rate pass-through and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 0128, European Central Bank.
  11. Sutherland, Alan, 2002. "Incomplete Pass-Through and the Welfare Effects of Exchange Rate Variability," CEPR Discussion Papers 3431, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Mark Toma, 2001. "Monetary policy," Chapters, in: The Elgar Companion to Public Choice, chapter 21 Edward Elgar.
  14. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare And Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445, May.
  15. Kollmann, Robert, 2002. "Monetary Policy Rules in the Open Economy: Effects on Welfare and Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 3279, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Benigno, Gianluca & Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2006. "Designing targeting rules for international monetary policy cooperation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 473-506, April.
  17. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2001. "Global Implications of Self-Oriented National Monetary Rules," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt6412m5b7, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  18. Kollmann, Robert, 2003. "Monetary Policy Rules in an Interdependent World," CEPR Discussion Papers 4012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Devereux, Michael B. & Engel, Charles, 2006. "Expenditure switching vs. real exchange rate stabilization: competing objectives for exchange rate policy," Working Paper Series 0614, European Central Bank.
  20. Duarte, Margarida & Obstfeld, Maurice, 2008. "Monetary policy in the open economy revisited: The case for exchange-rate flexibility restored," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 949-957, October.
  21. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2005. "International dimensions of optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 281-305, March.
  22. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2008. "High exchange-rate volatility and low pass-through," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1113-1128, September.
  23. 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.
  24. Tommaso Monacelli, 2003. "Monetary Policy in a Low Pass-Through Environment," Working Papers 228, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  25. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Open versus Closed Economies: An Integrated Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 248-252, May.
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