External Constraints on Monetary Policy and the Financial Accelerator
49 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2008
Date Written: October 2003
We develop a small open economy macroeconomic model where financial conditions influence aggregate behavior. We use this model to explore the connection between the exchange rate regime and financial distress. We show that fixed exchange rates exacerbate financial crises by tying the hands of the monetary authorities. We then investigate the quantitative significance by first calibrating the model to Korean data and then showing that it does a reasonably good job of matching the Korean experience during its recent financial crisis. In particular, the model accounts well for the sharp increase in lending rates and the large drop in output, investment and productivity during the 1997-1998 episode. We then perform some counterfactual exercises to illustrate the quantitative significance of fixed versus floating rates both for macroeconomic performance and for welfare. Overall, these exercises imply that welfare losses following a financial crisis are significantly larger under fixed exchange rates relative to flexible exchange rates.
Keywords: Financial crises, exchange rate policy
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