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Expenditure Switching vs. Real Exchange Rate Stabilization: Competing Objectives for Exchange Rate Policy

  • Michael B. Devereux
  • Charles Engel

This paper develops a view of exchange rate policy as a trade-off between the desire to smooth fluctuations in real exchange rates so as to reduce distortions in consumption allocations, and the need to allow flexibility in the nominal exchange rate so as to facilitate terms of trade adjustment. We show that optimal nominal exchange rate volatility will reflect these competing objectives. The key determinants of how much the exchange rate should respond to shocks will depend on the extent and source of price stickiness, the elasticity of substitution between home and foreign goods, and the amount of home bias in production. Quantitatively, we find the optimal exchange rate volatility should be significantly less than would be inferred based solely on terms of trade considerations. Moreover, we find that the relationship between price stickiness and optimal exchange rate volatility may be non-monotonic.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12215.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Publication status: published as Devereux, Michael B. and Charles Engel. “Expenditure Switching vs. Real Exchange Rate Stabilization: Competing Objectives for Exchange-Rate Policy.” Journal of Monetary Economics 54 (2007): 2346-2374.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12215
Note: IFM
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  1. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2001. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt6796n8s0, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Burstein, Ariel T. & Neves, Joao C. & Rebelo, Sergio, 2003. "Distribution costs and real exchange rate dynamics during exchange-rate-based stabilizations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1189-1214, September.
  8. Giancarlo CORSETTI & Luca DEDOLA, 2003. "Macroeconomics of International Price Discrimination," Economics Working Papers ECO2003/20, European University Institute.
  9. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1999. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt5pf7g8sh, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  10. Sergio Rebelo & Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum, 2004. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," 2004 Meeting Papers 137, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1998. "Can sticky price models generate volatile and persistent real exchange rates?," Staff Report 223, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare And Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445, May.
  13. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel & Cedric Tille, 1999. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through and the Welfare Effects of the Euro," NBER Working Papers 7382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2005. "International dimensions of optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 281-305, March.
  15. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 96-02, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  16. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2003. "Why is Inflation so Low after Large Devaluations?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0308, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  17. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1999. "Deviations from Purchasing Power Parity:Causes and Welfare Costs," Working Papers 0038, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  18. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Parsley, David C. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Explaining the border effect: the role of exchange rate variability, shipping costs, and geography," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 87-105, October.
  20. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
  21. David Parsley Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Currency Arrangements And Goods Market Integration: A Price Based Approach," International Finance 0211004, EconWPA.
  22. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
  23. Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M., 1997. "Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 441-479, December.
  24. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  26. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, June.
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