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The adjustment of global external balances: does partial exchange rate pass-through to trade prices matter?
This paper assesses whether partial exchange rate pass-through to trade prices has important implications for the prospective adjustment of global external imbalances. To address this question, we develop and estimate an open-economy DGE model in which pass-through is incomplete due to the presence of local currency pricing, distribution services, and a variable demand elasticity that leads to fluctuations in optimal markups. We find that the overall magnitude of trade adjustment is similar in a low and high pass-through world with more adjustment in a low pass-world occurring through a ...
Regional influences on U.S. monetary policy: some implications for Europe
This paper looks at the monetary policy decisions of the U.S. Federal Reserve and asks whether those decisions have been influenced solely by national concerns, or whether regional factors have played a role. All of the Federal Reserve's policymakers have some regional identity, i.e., either their positions explicitly carry some regional affiliation or their region of origin is a factor that must be considered in the selection process. This research is relevant for the Fed, and it may also be relevant for Europe's fledgling central bank in Frankfurt. Critics have asserted that ECB ...
Central bank independence, inflation and growth in transition economies
In this paper, we document two empirical relationships that have emerged as the former communist countries have taken steps to transform their economies from command systems to market-based systems. First, increased central bank independence has tended to improve inflation performance. Second, high inflation has adversely affected real activity. More specifically, in the first section of this paper, we develop indices of central bank independence (CBI) for twelve transition economies and examine the relationship between CBI and inflation performance across these countries. Statistical ...
Exchange rate pass-through to export prices: assessing some cross-country evidence
A growing body of empirical work has found evidence of a decline in exchange rate pass-through to import prices in a number of industrial countries. Our paper complements this work by examining pass-through from the other side of the transaction; that is, we assess the exchange rate sensitivity of export prices (denominated in the exporter's currency). We first sketch out a streamlined analytical model that highlights some key factors that determine pass-through. Using this model as reference, we find that the prices charged on exports to the United States are more responsive to the exchange ...
U.S. external adjustment: is it disorderly? Is it unique? Will it disrupt the rest of the world?
In recent years, a number of studies have analyzed the experiences of a broad range of industrial economies during periods when their current account deficits have narrowed. Such studies identified systematic aspects of external adjustment, but it is unclear how good a guide the experience of other countries may be to the effects of a future narrowing of the U.S. external imbalance. In contrast, this paper focuses in depth on the historical experience of external adjustment in the United States. Using data from the past thirty-five years, we compare economic performance in episodes during ...
Capital flight from the countries in transition: some theory and empirical evidence.
The first portion of this paper develops a simple framework that decomposes home demand for a domestic risky asset into a portfolio diversification incentive, a relative risk incentive, and a relative return incentive. It shows that capital flight may be caused by factors that increase the relative riskiness of the home asset or by structural distortions (such as financial sector inefficiency), which reduce the relative return of the domestic asset. The second portion of the paper provides empirical estimates of capital flight from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Russia for the 1988-93 ...
The Adjustment of Global External Imbalances: Does Partial Exchange Rate Pass-Through to Trade Prices Matter?
This paper assesses whether partial exchange rate pass-through to trade prices has important implications for the prospective adjustment of global external imbalances. To address this question, we develop an open-economy DGE model in which firms set their prices with an eye toward maintaining their competitiveness against other producers; this feature of the model generates a variable desired markup and, hence, pass-through that is less than complete. With trade price elasticities of unity or greater, we find that for a given move in the exchange rate the nominal trade balance adjusts more ...
Eastern European export performance during transition
During the past decade, Eastern European exports have undergone a deep transformation, as communist bloc trading relationships have collapsed and trade with the West has increased. The extent of this geographical re-orientation has generally exceeded the predictions of equilibrium models developed by Hamilton and Winters (1992) and Collins and Rodrik (1991), suggesting the prospect for increased export activity among the transition economies as aggregate demand in these countries strengthens and payment systems mature. Significant changes in the product composition of Eastern European exports ...
Exchange rate pass-through to U.S. import prices: some new evidence
This paper documents a sustained decline in exchange rate pass-through to U.S. import prices, from above 0.5 during the 1980s to somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.2 during the last decade. This decline in the pass-through coefficient is robust to the measure of foreign prices that is included in the regression (i.e., CPI versus PPI), whether the estimation is done in levels or differences, and whether U.S. prices are included as an explanatory variable. Notably, the largest estimates of pass-through are obtained when commodity prices are excluded from the regression. In this case, the ...
On the record: facing financial troubles in an era of globalization: a conversation with Nathan Sheets
Economist Nathan Sheets, director of the Federal Reserve Board's Division of International Finance, puts a global perspective on the current economic crisis and the Fed's response to it.