Social Distancing and Supply Disruptions in a Pandemic
Drastic public health measures such as social distancing or lockdowns can reduce the loss of human life by keeping the number of infected individuals from exceeding the capacity of the health care system but are often criticized because of the social and the economic cost they entail. We question this view by combining an epidemiological model, calibrated to capture the spread of the COVID-19 virus, with a multisector model, designed to capture key characteristics of the U.S. Input Output Tables. Our two-sector model features a core sector that produces intermediate inputs not easily replaced ...
Macroeconomics of international price discrimination
This paper builds a baseline two-country model of real and monetary transmission under optimal international price discrimination. Distributing traded goods to consumers requires nontradables; because of distributive trade, the price elasticity of export demand depends on the exchange rate. Profit-maximizing monopolistic firms drive a wedge between wholesale and retail prices across countries. This entails possibly large deviations from the law of one price and incomplete pass-through on import prices. Yet, consistent with expenditure-switching effects, a nominal depreciation generally ...
DSGE models of high exchange-rate volatility and low pass-through
This paper develops a quantitative, dynamic, open-economy model which endogenously generates high exchange rate volatility, whereas a low degree of pass-through stems from both nominal rigidities (in the form of local currency pricing) and price discrimination. We model real exchange rate volatility in response to real shocks by reconsidering and extending two approaches suggested by the quantitative literature (one by Backus Kehoe and Kydland , the other by Chari, Kehoe and McGrattan ), within a common framework with incomplete markets and segmented domestic economies. Our model ...
International risk-sharing and the transmission of productivity shocks
A central puzzle in international finance is that real exchange rates are volatile and, in stark contradiction to efficient risk-sharing, negatively correlated with cross-country consumption ratios. This paper shows that a standard international business cycle model with incomplete asset markets augmented with distribution services can account quantitatively for these properties of real exchange rates. Distribution services, intensive in local inputs, drive a wedge between producer and consumer prices, thus lowering the impact of terms-of-trade changes on optimal agents' decisions. This ...
The Elusive Gains from Nationally-Oriented Monetary Policy
The consensus in the recent literature is that the gains from international monetary cooperation are negligible, and so are the costs of a breakdown in cooperation. However, when assessed conditionally on empirically-relevant dynamic developments of the economy, the welfare cost of moving away from regimes of explicit or implicit cooperation may rise to multiple times the cost of economic fluctuations. In economies with incomplete markets, the incentives to act non-cooperatively are driven by the emergence of global imbalances, i.e., large net-foreign-asset positions; and, in economies with ...
Productivity and the dollar
This paper investigates the role of shocks to U.S. productivity and demand in driving the real value of the dollar, and the dynamics of the U.S. trade balance. Using sign restrictions based on robust predictions by standard theory, we identify shocks that increase domestic labor productivity and output in manufacturing (our measure of U.S. tradables), relative to an aggregate of other industrial countries including the rest of the G7, while driving down (up in the case of demand) the relative price of tradables (in accord to Harrod-Balassa-Samuelson effects). Consistent with previous results ...
The international dimension of productivity and demand shocks in the U.S. economy
Identifying productivity and real demand shocks in the US with sign restrictions based on standard theory, we provide evidence on real and financial channels of their international propagation. Productivity gains in US manufacturing have substantial macroeconomic effects, raising US consumption, investment and the terms of trade, relative to the rest of the world, while lowering US net exports. Significant international financial adjustment occurs via a rise in the global value of the US stock market, portfolio shifts in US foreign assets and liabilities, and especially real dollar ...
Optimal monetary policy in open economies
Research in the international dimensions of optimal monetary policy has long been inspired by a set of fascinating questions, shaping the policy debate in at least two eras of progressive cross-border integration of goods, factors, and assets markets in the years after World War I and from Bretton Woods to today. Namely, should monetary policy respond to international variables such as exchange rates, global business cycle conditions, or global imbalances beyond their in uence on the domestic output gap and inflation? Do exchange rate movements have desirable stabilization and allocative ...
Exchange Rate Misalignment and External Imbalances: What is the Optimal Monetary Policy Response?
How should monetary policy respond to capital inflows that appreciate the currency, widen the current account deficit and cause domestic overheating? Using the workhorse open-macro monetary model, we derive a quadratic approximation of the utility-based global loss function in incomplete market economies, solve for the optimal targeting rules under cooperation and characterize the constrained-optimal allocation. The answer is sharp: the optimal monetary stance is contractionary if the exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) on import prices is incomplete, expansionary if ERPT is complete–implying ...
The Euro Crisis in the Mirror of the EMS: How Tying Odysseus to the Mast Avoided the Sirens but Led Him to Charybdis
Why was recovery from the euro area crisis delayed for a decade? The explanation lies in the absence of credible and timely policies to backstop financial intermediaries and sovereign debt markets. In this paper we add light and color to this analysis, contrasting recent experience with the 1992-3 crisis in the European Monetary System, when national central banks and treasuries more successfully provided this backstop. In the more recent episode, the incomplete development of the euro area constrained the ability of the ECB and other European institutions to do likewise.