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Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange Rate Flexibility

  • Michael B. Devereux

    (University of British Columbia, CEPR)

  • Charles Engel

    (University of Washington and NBER)

This paper develops a welfare-based model of monetary policy in an open economy. We focus on the extent to which monetary policy should be employed in stabilising the exchange rate. The traditional approach maintains that exchange rate flexibility is desirable in the presence of real country-specific shocks that require adjustment in relative prices. However, in light of empirical evidence on nominal price response to exchange-rate changes - specifically, that there appears to be a large degree of local-currency pricing in industrialized countries - the expenditure-switching role played by nominal exchange rates may be exaggerated in the traditional literature. In the presence of local-currency pricing, we find that optimal monetary policy in response to real shocks is fully consistent with fixed exchange rates. On the other hand, when real country-specific shocks are not important, and when a country's monetary sector is stable, the case for freely floating rates is strengthened in the presence of localcurrency pricing.

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Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 042000.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:042000
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  1. Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Open-Economy Inflation Targeting," Papers 638, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," CEPR Discussion Papers 1131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. 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.
  5. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "Nominal income targeting in an open-economy optimizing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 553-578, June.
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  7. Cedric Tille, 2000. ""Beggar-thy-neighbor" or "beggar-thyself"? the income effect of exchange rate fluctuations," Staff Reports 112, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  9. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," International Finance 0004002, EconWPA.
  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.
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  12. Bacchetta, Philippe & van Wincoop, Eric, 1998. "Does Exchange Rate Stability Increase Trade and Capital Flows?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1962, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
  14. 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.
  15. Betts, Caroline & Devereux, Michael B., 2000. "Exchange rate dynamics in a model of pricing-to-market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 215-244, February.
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  17. 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.
  18. Obstfeld, M., 1998. "Risk and Exchange Rate," Papers 193, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  19. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 96-02, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  20. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1991. "International real business cycles," Staff Report 146, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1998. " Open-Economy Macroeconomics: Developments in Theory and Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 247-75, March.
  24. Jordi Gali & Tommaso Monacelli, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 438, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 Nov 1999.
  25. Maurice Obstfeld, 1997. "Europe's gamble," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 241-317.
  26. 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.
  27. Betts, Caroline & Devereux, Michael B., 1996. "The exchange rate in a model of pricing-to-market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1007-1021, April.
  28. Yushi Yoshida & Shinji Takagi, 1999. "Exchange Rate Movements and Tradable Goods Prices in East Asia: An Analysis Based on Japanese Customs Data, 1988-98," IMF Working Papers 99/31, International Monetary Fund.
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