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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. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2004. "Optimal Simple and Implementable Monetary and Fiscal Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 4334, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. De Paoli, Bianca, 2009. "Monetary policy and welfare in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 11-22, February.
  4. David S. Jacks & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 800-813, August.
  5. Rose, Andrew K., 2007. "A stable international monetary system emerges: Inflation targeting is Bretton Woods, reversed," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 663-681, September.
  6. Sutherland, Alan, 2005. "Incomplete pass-through and the welfare effects of exchange rate variability," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 375-399, March.
  7. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
  8. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.).
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