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Government Spending, Monetary Policy, and the Real Exchange Rate

  • Hafedh Bouakez
  • Aurélien Eyquem

A robust prediction across a wide range of open-economy macroeconomic models is that an unanticipated increase in public spending in a given country appreciates it currency in real terms. This result, however, contradicts the findings of a number of recent empirical studies, which instead document a significant and persistent depreciation of the real exchange rate following an expansionary government spending shock. In this paper, we rationalize the findings of the empirical literature by proposing a small-open-economy model that features three key ingredients: incomplete and imperfect international financial markets, sticky prices, and a not-too-aggressive monetary policy. The model predicts that in response to an unexpected increase in public expenditures, the effective long-term real interest rate falls, causing the real exchange rate to depreciate. We establish this result both analytically, within a special version of the model, and numerically for the more general case.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1212.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1212
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  1. Hafedh Bouakez & Nooman Rebei, 2007. "Why does private consumption rise after a government spending shock?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 954-979, August.
  2. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, Jose David, 2002. "Markups, Gaps and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Kollmann, Robert, 2009. "Government Purchases and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 7427, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Bouakez, Hafedh & Chihi, Foued & Normandin, Michel, 2014. "Fiscal policy and external adjustment: New evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-20.
  5. Enders, Zeno & Müller, Gernot & Scholl, Almuth, 2010. "How do Fiscal and Technology Shocks affect Real Exchange Rates? New Evidence for the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 7732, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Kim J. Ruhl, 2008. "The International Elasticity Puzzle," Working Papers 08-30, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  7. Morten O. Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2007. "Explaining the Effects of Government Spending Shocks on Consumption and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 13328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
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