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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. Bodenstein, Martin & Erceg, Christopher J. & Guerrieri, Luca, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy with distinct core and headline inflation rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages S18-S33, October.
  2. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," NBER Technical Working Papers 0282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Linear-quadratic approximation of optimal policy problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 1-42.
  4. Jordi Gali & Tommaso Monacelli, 2002. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," NBER Working Papers 8905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2010. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Open Economies," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 16, pages 861-933 Elsevier.
  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. 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.
  8. Benigno, Gianluca & Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2006. "Designing targeting rules for international monetary policy cooperation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 473-506, April.
  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.
  10. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2004. "Optimal Simple and Implementable Monetary and Fiscal Rules," NBER Working Papers 10253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2011. "Heterogeneity and Tests of Risk Sharing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(5), pages 925 - 958.
  12. 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.
  13. Jens Sondergaard & Pietro Cova, 2004. "When Should Monetary Policy Target The Exchange Rate?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 51, Royal Economic Society.
  14. 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.
  15. Ester Faia & Tommaso Monacelli, 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Small Open Economy with Home Bias," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 521, Society for Computational Economics.
  16. Chang, Roberto, 1998. "Credible Monetary Policy in an Infinite Horizon Model: Recursive Approaches," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 431-461, August.
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