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World Food Prices and Monetary Policy

  • Luis Catão
  • Roberto Chang

In recent years, large fluctuations in world food prices have renewed interest in the question of how monetary policy in small open economies should react to imported price shocks. We address this issue in an open economy setting similar to previous ones except that food plays a distinctive role in utility. A key novelty of our model is that the real exchange rate and the terms of trade can move in opposite directions in response to food price shocks. This has several consequences for observables and for policy. Under a variety of model calibrations, broad CPI targeting emerges as welfare-superior to alternative policy rules once the variance of food price shocks is as large as in real world data.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16563.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16563
Note: IFM
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  1. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
  2. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-69, June.
  3. Sutherland, Alan, 2002. "Incomplete Pass-Through and the Welfare Effects of Exchange Rate Variability," CEPR Discussion Papers 3431, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jacks, David S. & O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2009. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," CEPR Discussion Papers 7190, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
  6. Bianca De Paoli, 2004. "Monetary policy and welfare in a small open economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19950, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Martin Bodenstein & Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy with distinct core and headline inflation rates," International Finance Discussion Papers 941, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Galí, Jordi & Monacelli, Tommaso, 2002. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3346, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Andrew K. Rose, 2006. "A Stable International Monetary System Emerges: Inflation Targeting is Bretton Woods, Reversed," NBER Working Papers 12711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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