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World Food Prices and Monetary Policy

  • Roberto Chang
  • Luis Catão

The large swings in world food prices in recent years renew interest in the question of how monetary policy in small open economies should react to such imported price shocks. We examine this issue in a canonical open economy setting with sticky prices and where food plays a distinctive role in utility. We show how world food price shocks affect natural output and other aggregates, and derive a second order approximation to welfare. Numerical calibrations show broad CPI targeting to be welfare-superior to alternative policy rules once the variance of food price shocks is sufficiently large as in real world data.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 10/161.

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Length: 66
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/161
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  1. Sutherland, Alan, 2002. "Incomplete Pass-Through and the Welfare Effects of Exchange Rate Variability," CEPR Discussion Papers 3431, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bianca De Paoli, 2004. "Monetary Policy and Welfare in a Small Open Economy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0639, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," Departmental Working Papers 200106, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2004. "Optimal Simple and Implementable Monetary and Fiscal Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 4334, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-69, June.
  6. Jacks, David S. & O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2009. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," CEPR Discussion Papers 7190, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2004. "Monetary policy and exchange rate volatility in a small open economy," Economics Working Papers 835, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Martin Bodenstein & Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy with distinct core and headline inflation rates," International Finance Discussion Papers 941, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Andrew K. Rose, 2006. "A Stable International Monetary System Emerges: Inflation Targeting is Bretton Woods, Reversed," NBER Working Papers 12711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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