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Open-Economy Macroeconomics, Developments in Theory and Policy

  • Maurice Obstfeld

This paper surveys recent research in open-economy macroeconomics, using questions raised by European economic and monetary unification to guide the topics discussed. A striking empirical regularity is the tendency for changes in the nominal exchange rate regime systematically to affect the variability of nominal and real exchange rates alike. This regularity (which disappears in high-inflation conditions) can be explained by sticky-price theories or by models of asset-market liquidity effects. But plausible liquidity models have difficulty generating enough persistence (in output and real exchange rates, in particular) to match the data. So the macroeconomic costs of giving up the exchange-rate realignment option, emphasized in Mundell's optimum currency area concept, seem empirically relevant. The paper discusses other possible costs of currency unification, associated with a reduced number of asset markets. On the benefit side, our theories of the efficiencies due to a common currency remain unsatisfactory, despite recent advances. A key motivation for the choice of a common currency over a fixed exchange rate between national currencies is the fear of speculative attack. The paper concludes by showing how self-fulfilling currency crises can occur, and describes recent progress in narrowing the range of multiple equilibria in adjustable-peg regimes.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6319.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Publication status: published as Scandinavian Journal of Economics, vol. 100, no. 1, pp. 247-275, 1998
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6319
Note: IFM
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  1. Miles S. Kimball & Michael Woodford, 1994. "The quantitative analysis of the basic neomonetarist model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1241-1289.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1999. "The twin crises: The causes of banking and balance of payments problems," MPRA Paper 14081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Hugo Rodríguez, 1998. "Monetary unions and the transaction cost savings of a single currency," Economics Working Papers 291, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. repec:dgr:kubcen:199667 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Maurice Obstfeld and Alan M. Taylor., 1997. "Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C97-088, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
  7. Grilli, Vittorio & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Liquidity and exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3-4), pages 339-352, May.
  8. Kollman, R., 1996. "The Exchange Rate in a Dynamic-Optimizing Current Account Model with Nominal Rigidities: a Quantitative Investigation," Cahiers de recherche 9614, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  9. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-Fulfilling Features," NBER Working Papers 5285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rotemberg, Julio J., 1985. "Money and the terms of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 141-160, August.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1990. "Liquidity and interest rates," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 237-264, April.
  12. Mussa, Michael, 1982. "A Model of Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 74-104, February.
  13. Engel, C. & Rogers, J.H., 1996. "Regional Patterns in the Law of One Price: The Roles of Geography vs. Currencies," Working Papers 96-01, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  14. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
  15. Romer, David, 1987. "The monetary transmission mechanism in a general equilibrium version of the baumol-tobin model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 105-122, July.
  16. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  17. Dowd, Kevin & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Currency Competition, Network Externalities and Switching Costs: Towards an Alternative View of Optimum Currency Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1180-89, September.
  18. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson, 1996. "Money and Exchange Rates in the Grossman-Weiss-Rotemberg Model," NBER Working Papers 5678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  20. Stockman, A.C., 1988. "Real Exchange Rate Variability Under Pegged And Floating Nominal Exchange Rate Systems: An Equilibrium Theory," RCER Working Papers 128, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  21. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1991. "The Advantage of Tying One's Hands: EMS Discipline and Central Bank Credibility," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 303-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Don E. Schlagenhauf & Jeffrey M. Wrase, 1992. "Liquidity and real activity in a simple open economy model," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 57, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  23. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1982. "A Comparison of Exchange Rate Regimes in the Presence of Imperfect Capital Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(2), pages 365-88, June.
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