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Does the time inconsistency problem make flexible exchange rates look worse than you think?

  • Roc Armenter
  • Martin Bodenstein

Lack of commitment in monetary policy leads to the well known Barro-Gordon inflation bias. In this paper, we argue that two phenomena associated with the time inconsistency problem have been overlooked in the exchange rate debate. We show that, absent commitment, independent monetary policy can also induce expectation traps-that is, welfare-ranked multiple equilibria-and perverse policy responses to real shocks-that is, an equilibrium policy response that is welfare inferior to policy inaction. Both possibilities imply higher macroeconomic volatility under flexible exchange rates than under fixed exchange rates.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 230.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:230
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  1. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-Fulfilling Features," NBER Working Papers 5285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stefania Albanesi & V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2002. "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," Macroeconomics 0201004, EconWPA.
  3. Arellano, Cristina & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2010. "Dollarization and financial integration," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 944-973, May.
  4. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  5. Armenter, Roc & Bodenstein, Martin, 2008. "Can The U.S. Monetary Policy Fall (Again) In An Expectation Trap?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(05), pages 664-693, November.
  6. Obstfeld, Maurice & Duarte, Margarida, 2005. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: The Case for Exchange-Rate Flexibility Restored," 2005 Meeting Papers 386, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Mendoza, Enrique G, 2001. "The Benefits of Dollarization When Stabilization Policy Lacks Credibility and Financial Markets Are Imperfect," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 440-74, May.
  8. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. David Romer, 1991. "Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2004. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity, and dynamic multiple equilibria," Working Paper 04-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  11. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, `Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," NBER Working Papers 5251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Cooley, Thomas F & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2001. "The Cost of Losing Monetary Independence: The Case of Mexico," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 370-97, May.
  13. Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2003. "Globalization and global disinflation," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-112.
  14. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2000. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange Rate Flexibility," Working Papers 042000, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  15. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," NBER Working Papers 5541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
  17. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "No Single Currency Regime is Right for All Countries or At All Times," NBER Working Papers 7338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 2002. "Dollarization: Analytical Issues," NBER Working Papers 8838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  20. Roc Armenter, 2008. "A General Theory (and Some Evidence) of Expectation Traps in Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 867-895, 08.
  21. Andres Velasco & Roberto Chang, 2000. "Exchange-Rate Policy for Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 71-75, May.
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