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Expenditure Switching vs. Real Exchange Rate Stabilization: Competing Objectives for Exchange Rate Policy

  • Michael B. Devereux

    (University of British Columbia and CEPR, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Charles Engel

    (University of Wisconsin and NBER)

This paper develops a view of exchange rate policy as a trade-off between the desire to smooth fluctuations in real exchange rates so as to reduce distortions in consumption allocations, and the need to allow flexibility in the nominal exchange rate so as to facilitate terms of trade adjustment. We show that optimal nominal exchange rate volatility will reflect these competing objectives. The key determinants of how much the exchange rate should respond to shocks will depend on the extent and source of price stickiness, as well as the elasticity of substitution between home and foreign goods. Quantitatively, we find the optimal exchange rate volatility should be significantly less than would be inferred based solely on terms of trade considerations. Moreover, we find that the relationship between price stickiness and optimal exchange rate volatility may be non-monotonic.

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Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 082005.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:082005
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  9. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2002. "Why Are Rates of Inflation So Low After Large Devaluations?," NBER Working Papers 8748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Neves, Joao C & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2001. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, June.
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  14. Engel, C. & Rogers, J.H., 1995. "How Wide is the Border?," Papers 4-95-16, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  15. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
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  17. Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M., 1997. "Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 1672, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Rogers, J.H. & Jenkins, M.A., 1993. "Haircuts or Hysteresis? Sources of Movements in Real Exchange Rates," Papers 4-93-6, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  19. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "Interest-Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Working Papers 6618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Parsley, David C. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Explaining the border effect: the role of exchange rate variability, shipping costs, and geography," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 87-105, October.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2003. "Why is Inflation so Low after Large Devaluations?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0308, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  25. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
  26. David Parsley Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Currency Arrangements And Goods Market Integration: A Price Based Approach," International Finance 0211004, EconWPA.
  27. 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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