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Rounding the Corners of the Policy Trilemma: Sources of Monetary Policy Autonomy

Author

Listed:
  • Michael W. Klein

    (Fletcher School, Tufts University, and NBER (E-mail: michael.klein@tufts.edu))

  • Jay C. Shambaugh

    (George Washington University and NBER (E-mail: jshambaugh@gwu.edu))

Abstract

A central result in international macroeconomics is that a government cannot simultaneously opt for open financial markets, fixed exchange rates, and monetary autonomy; rather, it is constrained to choosing no more than two of these three. In the wake of the Great Recession, however, there has been an effort to address macroeconomic challenges through intermediate measures, such as narrowly targeted capital controls or limited exchange rate flexibility. This paper addresses the question of whether these intermediate policies, which round the corners of the triangle representing the policy trilemma, afford a full measure of monetary policy autonomy. Our results confirm that extensive capital controls or floating exchange rates enable a country to have monetary autonomy, as suggested by the trilemma. Partial capital controls, however, do not generally enable a country to have greater monetary control than is the case with open capital accounts unless they are quite extensive. In contrast, a moderate amount of exchange rate flexibility does allow for some degree of monetary autonomy, especially in emerging and developing economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael W. Klein & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2013. "Rounding the Corners of the Policy Trilemma: Sources of Monetary Policy Autonomy," IMES Discussion Paper Series 13-E-14, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  • Handle: RePEc:ime:imedps:13-e-14
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Exchange Rate Regimes; Trilemma; Monetary Policy; Capital Controls;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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