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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. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 1998. "Does Exchange Rate Stability Increase Trade and Capital Flows?," Working Papers 98.04, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 1999. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C99-107, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel & CÈdric Tille, 2003. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through and the Welfare Effects of the Euro," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 223-242, February.
  4. 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.
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  6. 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.
  7. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-75, August.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C95-048, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Working Papers 96-02, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  12. Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Open-Economy Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Jonathan David Ostry & Anne Marie Gulde & Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1995. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," IMF Working Papers 95/121, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 1997. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," NBER Working Papers 6307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Maurice Obstfeld, 1997. "Open-Economy Macroeconomics: Developments in Theory and Policy," Working Papers 958, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  17. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," International Finance Discussion Papers 498, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1997. "Monetary Shocks and Real Exchange Rates in Sticky Price Models of International Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Yushi Yoshida & Shinji Takagi, 1999. "Exchange Rate Movements and Tradable Goods Prices in East Asia; An Analysis Basedon Japanese Customs Data, 1988-1998," IMF Working Papers 99/31, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1998. "Risk and Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 6694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  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. 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.
  26. 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.
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  28. Maurice Obstfeld, 1997. "Europe's gamble," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 241-317.
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