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World Food Prices, the Terms of Trade-Real Exchange Rate Nexus, and Monetary Policy


  • Luis Catão
  • Roberto Chang


How should monetary policy respond to large fluctuations in world food prices? We study this question in an open economy model in which imported food has a larger weight in domestic consumption than abroad and international risk sharing can be imperfect. A key novelty is that the real exchange rate and the terms of trade can move in opposite directions in response to world food price shocks. This exacerbates the policy trade-off between stabilizing output prices vis a vis the real exchange rate, to an extent that depends on risk sharing and the price elasticity of exports. Under perfect risk sharing, targeting the headline CPI welfare-dominates targeting the PPI if the variance of food price shocks is not too small and the export price elasticity is realistically high. In such a case, however, targeting forecast CPI is a superior choice. With incomplete risk sharing, PPI targeting is clearly a winner.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Catão & Roberto Chang, 2013. "World Food Prices, the Terms of Trade-Real Exchange Rate Nexus, and Monetary Policy," IMF Working Papers 13/114, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/114

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Devereux, Michael B. & Yetman, James, 2014. "Globalisation, pass-through and the optimal policy response to exchange rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(PA), pages 104-128.
    2. Jonathan Hambur & Lynne Cockerell & Christopher Potter & Penelope Smith & Michelle Wright, 2015. "Modelling the Australian Dollar," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2015-12, Reserve Bank of Australia.

    More about this item


    Commodity price shocks; Inflation targeting; Incomplete markets; Taylor rules; inflation; terms of trade; monetary policy; price elasticity; relative price; General; Open Economy Macroeconomics;

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