Expenditure Switching vs. Real Exchange Rate Stabilization: Competing Objectives for Exchange Rate Policy

49 Pages Posted: 22 May 2006  

Michael B. Devereux

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Charles M. Engel

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Washington - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2006

Abstract

This paper develops a view of exchange rate policy as a trade-off between the desire to smooth fluctuations in real exchange rates so as to reduce distortions in consumption allocations, and the need to allow flexibility in the nominal exchange rate so as to facilitate terms of trade adjustment. We show that optimal nominal exchange rate volatility will reflect these competing objectives. The key determinants of how much the exchange rate should respond to shocks will depend on the extent and source of price stickiness, as well as the elasticity of substitution between home and foreign goods. Quantitatively, we find the optimal exchange rate volatility should be significantly less than would be inferred based solely on terms of trade considerations. Moreover, we find that the relationship between price stickiness and optimal exchange rate volatility may be non-monotonic.

Keywords: Exchange rates, monetary policy, expenditure switching

JEL Classification: F41, E52

Suggested Citation

Devereux, Michael B. and Engel, Charles M., Expenditure Switching vs. Real Exchange Rate Stabilization: Competing Objectives for Exchange Rate Policy (April 2006). ECB Working Paper No. 614. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=891015

Michael B. Devereux (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Charles M. Engel

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

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