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Persistent Real Exchange Rates

  • Alok Johri
  • Amartya Lahiri

Three well known facts that characterize exchange rate data are: (a) the high correlation between bilateral nominal and real exchange rates; (b) the high degree of persistence in real exchange rate movements; and (c) the high volatility of real exchange rates. This paper attempts a joint, albeit partial, rationalization of these facts in an environment with no staggered contracts and where prices are preset for only one quarter. There are two key innovations in the paper. First, we augment a standard two-country open economy model with learning-by-doing in production at the firm level. This induces monopolistically competitive firms to endogeneize the productivity effect of their price setting behavior. Specifically, firms endogenously choose not to adjust prices by the full proportion of a positive monetary shock in order to take advantage of the productivity benefits of higher production. Second, we introduce habits in leisure. This makes the labor supply decision dynamic and adds an additional source of propagation. We show that the calibrated model can quantitatively reproduce significant fractions of the aforementioned facts. Moreover, as in the data, the model also produces a positive correlation between the terms of trade and the nominal exchange rate.

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File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/2008-04.pdf
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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2008-04.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2008-04
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