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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. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2002. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through, Exchange Rate Volatility, and Exchange Rate Disconnect," NBER Working Papers 8858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 2000. "Monetary Policy for an Open Economy: An Alternative Framework with Optimizing Agents and Sticky Prices," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 74-91, Winter.
  5. King, Stephen R, 1988. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 0234, March.
  6. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," NBER Working Papers 1686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Flemming, J S, 1987. "Wage Flexibility and Employment Stability," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 161-74, March.
  8. Driskill, Robert A & Sheffrin, Steven M, 1986. "Is Price Flexibility Destabilizing?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 802-07, September.
  9. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  10. Henrik Jensen, 2002. "Targeting Nominal Income Growth or Inflation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 928-956, September.
  11. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Rule-of-thumb behaviour and monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 791-831, October.
  12. 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.
  13. Arturo Extrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1998. "Dynamic inconsistencies: counterfactual implications of a class of rational expectations models," Working Papers 98-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  14. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Peter Howitt, 1986. "Wage Flexibility and Employment," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 237-242, Jul-Sep.
  16. Carl E. Walsh, 2003. "Monetary Theory and Policy, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232316, June.
  17. 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.
  18. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  19. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1974. "Rational expectations and the theory of economic policy," Working Papers 29, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Nelson, E., 1998. "Sluggish inflation and optimizing models of the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 303-322, July.
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