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Is Price Flexibility De-Stabilizing? A Reconsideration

  • Malik, Hamza
  • Scarth, William

Using a New Neoclassical Synthesis model of monetary policy for a small open economy, this paper explores the impact of an increased degree of price flexibility on output volatility. Previous analysis of this question – based on the earlier generation of descriptive macro systems with model-consistent expectations – offered mixed conclusions, especially in an open economy context. We update that literature by reconsidering the issue within models that involve optimization-based behavioural equations. We find clear support for Keynes’ concern that a higher degree of price flexibility raises output volatility – but only under flexible exchange rates. We discuss the implications of our findings for current macro policy discussions in both European and other economies.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/457/1/MPRA_paper_457.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 457.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision: Apr 2006
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:457
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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  2. Henrik Jensen, 2002. "Targeting Nominal Income Growth or Inflation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 928-956, September.
  3. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1997. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," NBER Working Papers 1686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Devereux, Michael B. & Engel, Charles, 2002. "Exchange rate pass-through, exchange rate volatility, and exchange rate disconnect," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 913-940, July.
  7. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  8. Arturo Estrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2002. "Dynamic Inconsistencies: Counterfactual Implications of a Class of Rational-Expectations Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
  9. Driskill, Robert A & Sheffrin, Steven M, 1986. "Is Price Flexibility Destabilizing?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 802-07, September.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2001. "Monetary Policy for an Open Economy: An Alternative Framework with Optimizing Agents and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 8175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sargent, Thomas J. & Wallace, Neil, 1976. "Rational expectations and the theory of economic policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 169-183, April.
  12. Carl E. Walsh, 2003. "Monetary Theory and Policy, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232316, June.
  13. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  14. Jeffery D. Amato & Thomas Laubach, 2002. "Rule-of-thumb behaviour and monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Myers, Gordon & Scarth, William, 1990. "Is price flexibility destabilizing? : Evidence for the open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 349-363, May.
  16. Flemming, J S, 1987. "Wage Flexibility and Employment Stability," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 161-74, March.
  17. Nelson, E., 1998. "Sluggish inflation and optimizing models of the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 303-322, July.
  18. King, Stephen R, 1988. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 0234, March.
  19. Peter Howitt, 1986. "Wage Flexibility and Employment," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 237-242, Jul-Sep.
  20. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
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