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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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  1. Michael Devereux & Charles Engel & Cedric Tille, 1999. "Exchange-Rate Pass-Through and the Welfare Effects of the Euro," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0034, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  2. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
  3. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2002. "Macroeconomics of international price discrimination," Working Paper Series 0176, European Central Bank.
  4. Charles Engel, 1995. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," NBER Working Papers 5394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2002. "Can sticky price models generate volatile and persistent real exchange rates?," Staff Report 277, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," International Finance 0004002, EconWPA.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld, 2003. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," International Finance 0303006, EconWPA.
  8. Ariel T. Burstein & Joao C. Neves & Sergio Rebelo, 2000. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilizations," RCER Working Papers 473, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  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. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2004. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 10986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2002. "Exchange Rates and Adjustment: Perspectives from the New Open- Economy Macroeconomics," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 20(S1), pages 23-46, December.
  12. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," Research Working Paper 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  13. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. David Parsley Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Currency Arrangements And Goods Market Integration: A Price Based Approach," International Finance 0211004, EconWPA.
  16. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1999. "Deviations from Purchasing Power Parity:Causes and Welfare Costs," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0038, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  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. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Explaining the Border Effect: The Role of Exchange Rate Variability, Shipping Costs, and Geography," NBER Working Papers 7836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 1997. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," NBER Working Papers 6307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "International dimensions of optimal monetary policy," Staff Reports 124, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  21. 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.
  22. Rogers, John H. & Jenkins, Michael, 1995. "Haircuts or hysteresis? Sources of movements in real exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 339-360, May.
  23. 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.
  24. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
  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.
  27. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, June.
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