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Oil Price Shocks, Rigidities and the Conduct of Monetary Policy: Some Lessons from a New Keynesian Perspective

  • Romain Duval
  • Lukas Vogel

The strong and sustained rise in oil prices observed in recent years poses a challenge to monetary policy and its ability to simultaneously achieve low inflation and stable output. Against this background, the paper studies monetary policy in a small open economy New Keynesian DSGE model including oil as a production input and a component of final demand. It investigates the performance of alternative price level definitions, notably headline and core CPI, in standard interest rate rules with respect to output and inflation stabilisation. The analysis puts special emphasis on the impact of price and real wage rigidity and their interaction on the policy trade-off induced by the oil price shock. While the degree of price rigidity alone is found to have little impact on the shock transmission and generates only small differences between alternative monetary strategies, the simulations suggest a more important role for real wage stickiness. Real wage stickiness triggers second round effects and complicates stabilisation whatever the policy rule. A focus on core inflation tends to limit the contraction of output in this context. The results also point to some interaction between nominal price and real wage rigidities. In the presence of real wage rigidity, greater price flexibility is found to be destabilising, as it amplifies the initial inflation effect of shocks, thereby triggering a stronger monetary policy response and a larger output effect. Chocs pétroliers, rigidités et conduite de la politique monétaire : quelques leçons tirées d'une perspective néo-keynésienne La hausse forte et persistante des prix pétroliers au cours des années passées constitue un défi pour la politique monétaire et sa capacité à stabiliser simultanément l’inflation et la production. Dans ce contexte, ce document étudie le comportement de la politique monétaire dans un modèle DSGE néo-keynésien d’une petite économie ouverte, incluant le pétrole à la fois comme bien de consommation final et comme facteur de production. L’analyse met l’accent sur la performance de définitions alternatives de l’indice des prix, notamment des indices de prix courant et sous-jacent, dans des règles de politique monétaire courantes, en matière de stabilisation du niveau de production et de l’inflation. En particulier, l’analyse met en évidence l’impact des rigidités de prix et de salaire réel, ainsi que de leur interaction, sur l’arbitrage engendré par le choc pétrolier. Tandis que le degré de rigidité des prix seul a peu d’effet sur la transmission des chocs et n’engendre que des écarts mineurs entre différentes stratégies de politique monétaire, les simulations suggèrent un impact plus important de la rigidité des salaires réels. La rigidité des salaires réels entraîne des effets de second tour et complique la stabilisation quelle que soit la règle de politique monétaire. Cibler l’inflation sous-jacente tend à limiter la contraction du niveau de production dans ce contexte. En outre, les résultats suggèrent une interaction entre rigidité des prix nominaux et rigidité des salaires réels. Pour un degré de rigidité donné des salaires réels, une forte flexibilité des prix apparait déstabilisatrice car elle amplifie l’effet initial du choc sur l’inflation, ce qui amplifie la réaction de politique monétaire et, ce faisant, entraîne une variation plus forte du niveau de production.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 603.

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Date of creation: 08 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:603-en
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