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The Adjustment of Prices and the Adjustment of the Exchange Rate

  • Charles Engel
  • James Morley

The purchasing power parity puzzle relates to the adjustment of real exchange rates. Real exchange rates are extremely volatile, suggesting that temporary shocks emanate from the monetary sector. But the half-life of real exchange rate deviations is extremely large -- 2.5 to 5 years. This half-life seems too large to be explained by the slow adjustment of nominal prices. We offer a different interpretation. We maintain that nominal exchange rates and prices need not converge at the same rate, as is implicit in rational-expectations sticky-price models of the exchange rate. Evidence from an unobserved components model for nominal prices and nominal exchange rates that imposes relative purchasing power parity in the long run indicates that nominal exchange rates converge much more slowly than nominal prices. The real puzzle is why nominal exchange rates converge so slowly.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics at the University of Washington in its series Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington with number 0009.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fth:washer:0009
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  1. Engel, Charles & Frankel, Jeffrey, 1984. "The secular inflation term in open-economy Phillips curves," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 161-164, March.
  2. Charles Engel, 1995. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," NBER Working Papers 5394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James Morley & Charles Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2003. "Why are Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-component decompositions of GDP so Different?," Working Papers UWEC-2002-18-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  4. Harvey, A C, 1985. "Trends and Cycles in Macroeconomic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 216-27, June.
  5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1985. "International capital mobility and crowding-out in the U.S. economy: imperfect integration of financial markets or of goods markets?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, pages 33-74.
  6. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1985. "Using Survey Data to Test Some Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ilan Goldfajn & Rodrigo O. ValdŽs, 1999. "The Aftermath Of Appreciations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 229-262, February.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1983. "Exchange Rate Dynamics With Sluggish Prices Under Alternative Price-Adjustment Rules," NBER Working Papers 1173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Engel, Charles, 2000. "Long-run PPP may not hold after all," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 243-273, August.
  10. Lothian, James R & Taylor, Mark P, 1996. "Real Exchange Rate Behavior: The Recent Float from the Perspective of the Past Two Centuries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 488-509, June.
  11. Clark, Peter K, 1987. "The Cyclical Component of U.S. Economic Activity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 797-814, November.
  12. Obstfeld, Maurice & Stockman, Alan C., 1985. "Exchange-rate dynamics," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 917-977 Elsevier.
  13. Andrew C. Harvey, 1990. "The Econometric Analysis of Time Series, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026208189x, June.
  14. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler & J. David Lopez-Salido, 2001. "European Inflation Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 8218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Froot, Kenneth A, 1987. "Using Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 133-53, March.
  16. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  17. Engel, Charles, 1996. "The forward discount anomaly and the risk premium: A survey of recent evidence," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 123-192, June.
  18. Shang-Jin Wei & David C. Parsley, 1995. "Purchasing Power Disparity During the Floating Rate Period: Exchange Rate Volatility, Trade Barriers and Other Culprits," NBER Working Papers 5032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Christian J. Murray & David H. Papell, 2000. "The Purchasing Power Parity Persistence Paradigm," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0017, Econometric Society.
  20. Wu, Yangru, 1996. "Are Real Exchange Rates Nonstationary? Evidence from a Panel-Data Test," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 54-63, February.
  21. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-76, December.
  22. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Lai, Kon S., 2000. "On the purchasing power parity puzzle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 321-330, December.
  23. Papell, David H., 1997. "Searching for stationarity: Purchasing power parity under the current float," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 313-332, November.
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