Globalization and Disinflation: The Efficiency Channel
HKIMR Working Paper No. 10/2005
22 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2007
Date Written: June 2005
The paper analyzes how globalization forces induce monetary authorities, guided in their policies by the welfare criterion of a representative household, to put a greater emphasis on reducing the inflation rate than on narrowing the output gaps. We demonstrate that with capital account liberalization the representative household is able to smooth fluctuations in consumption, and thus becomes relatively insensitive to fluctuations in the output gap. With trade liberalization the economy tends to specialize in the production of relatively few varieties of goods. The specialization in production as a result of trade openness increases the distortion originating from fluctuations in the inflation rate. Therefore, policymakers (guided by efficiency considerations) become more aggressive on inflation and less responsive to the output gap when trade and financial openness increases. We provide evidence on the effect on preferences towards fluctuations in the output gap and in inflation of trade and capital openness, which supports the theory predictions.
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