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Input Substitution, Export Pricing, and Exchange Rate Policy

  • Kang Shi

    (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Juanyi Xu

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Simon Fraser University, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

This paper develops a small open economy model with sticky prices to show why a flexible exchange rate policy is not desirable in East Asian emerging market economies. We argue that weak input substitution between local labor and import intermediates in traded goods production and extensive use of foreign currency in export pricing in these economies can help to explain this puzzle. In the presence of these two trade features, the adjustment role of the exchange rate is inhibited, so even a flexible exchange rate cannot stabilize the real economy in face of external shocks. Instead, due to the high exchange rate pass-through, exchange rate changes will lead to instability in both inflation and production cost. As a result, a fixed exchange rate may dominate a monetary policy rule with high exchange rate flexibility in terms of welfare. In a sense, our finding provides a rationale for the "fear of floating" phenomenon in these economies. That is, "fear of floating" may be central banks' rational reaction when these economies are constrained by the trade features mentioned above.

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Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 102008.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:102008
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  1. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Stabilization policy and the costs of dollarization," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 482-517.
  2. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist & Fabio M. Natalucci, 2007. "External Constraints on Monetary Policy and the Financial Accelerator," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 295-330, 03.
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  4. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
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  9. Arminio Fraga & Ilan Goldfajn & André Minella, 2004. "Inflation Targeting in Emerging Market Economies," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 365-416 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dalia Hakura & Ehsan U. Choudhri, 2001. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through to Domestic Prices; Does the Inflationary Environment Matter?," IMF Working Papers 01/194, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
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  14. Devereux, Michael B. & Yetman, James, 2010. "Price adjustment and exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 181-200, February.
  15. Cook, David & Devereux, Michael B., 2006. "External currency pricing and the East Asian crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 37-63, June.
  16. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  17. Eva Ortega & Nooman Rebei, 2006. "The Welfare Implications of Inflation versus Price-Level Targeting in a Two-Sector, Small Open Economy," Working Papers 06-12, Bank of Canada.
  18. Chang, Roberto & Velasco, Andres, 2006. "Currency mismatches and monetary policy: A tale of two equilibria," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 150-175, June.
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