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Monetary and Fiscal Policy with Flexible Exchange Rates

  • William H. Branson
  • Willem H. Buiter

If price decisions are taken neither continuously nor in perfect synchronization, the process of adjustment of all prices to a new nominal level will imply temporary movements in relative prices. It might then well be that, to avoid these movements in relative prices, each price setter will want to move his own price slowly compared to others. The result will be a slow movement of all prices to their new nominal level, and substantial inertia of the price level. This paper formalizes this intuitive argument and reaches four main conclusions: (1) Even small departures from perfect synchronization can generate substantial price level inertia. (2) If price decisions are desynchronized, even anticipated movements in money will usually have an effect on economic activity. It is however possible to find paths of money deceleration which reduce inflation at no cost in output. (3) Price desynchronization has implications for relative price movements as well as for the price level. Goods early in the chain of production have more price and profit variability than goods further down the chain. (4) Price inertia, if it is due to price desynchronization, may be difficult to remove. It may well be that, given the timing decisions of others, no agent has an incentive to change his own timing decision: the time structure of price desynchronization may be stable.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0901.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0901.

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Date of creation: Jun 1982
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Publication status: published as Branson, William H. and Willem H. Buiter. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy with Flexible Exchange Rates." Economic Interdependence and Flexible Exchange Rates, ed. J.S. Bhandari and B.H. Putnam, pp. 251-285. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1983.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0901
Note: ITI IFM
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  1. Branson, William H, 1976. "The Dual Roles of the Government Budget and the Balance of Payments in the Movement from Short-Run to Long-Run Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 345-67, August.
  2. William H. Branson & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1979. "International Adjustment with Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 0406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld, 1980. "Imperfect Asset Substitutability and Monetary Policy under Fixed Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 0485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bruno, Michael, 1978. "Exchange Rates, Import Costs, and Wage-Price Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 379-403, June.
  5. Buiter, Willem H, 1978. "Short-run and Long-run Effects of External Disturbances under a Floating Exchange Rate," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 45(179), pages 251-72, August.
  6. Louka T. Katseli & Nancy Peregrim Marion, 1980. "Adjustment to Variations in Imported Input Prices: The Role of Economic Structure," NBER Working Papers 0501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marina V. N. Whitman, 1975. "Global Monetarism and the Monetary Approach to the Balance of Payments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(3), pages 491-556.
  8. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1980. "Exchange Rate Economics: Where Do We Stand?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(1, Tenth ), pages 143-206.
  9. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Exchange Rates and the Current Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 960-71, December.
  10. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-76, December.
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