Uncertainty, exchange rate regimes, and national price levels
Large differences in national price levels exist across countries. In this paper, I develop a general equilibrium model predicting that these differences should be related to countries? exchange rate regimes. My empirical findings confirm that countries with fixed exchange rate regimes have higher national price levels than countries with flexible regimes. At the disaggregate level, the relationship between exchange rate regimes and national price levels is stronger for nontraded goods than for traded goods. I also find that measuring the misalignment in national price levels around times of ...
Optimal interest rate rules and inflation stabilization versus price-level stabilization
This paper compares the properties of interest rate rules such as simple Taylor rules and rules that respond to price-level fluctuations?called Wicksellian rules?in a basic forward-looking model. By introducing appropriate history dependence in policy, Wicksellian rules perform better than optimal Taylor rules in terms of welfare and robustness to alternative shock processes, and they are less prone to equilibrium indeterminacy. A simple Wicksellian rule augmented with a high degree of interest rate inertia resembles a robustly optimal rule?that is, a monetary policy rule that implements the ...
Great expectations and the end of the depression
This paper argues that the U.S. economy's recovery from the Great Depression was driven by a shift in expectations brought about by the policy actions of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On the monetary policy side, Roosevelt abolished the gold standard and-even more important-announced the policy objective of inflating the price level to pre-depression levels. On the fiscal policy side, Roosevelt expanded real and deficit spending. Together, these actions made his policy objective credible; they violated prevailing policy dogmas and introduced a policy regime change such as that ...
Livestock shocks: mad cow, trade policy and strong prices
Globalization and inflation dynamics: the impact of increased competition
This paper analyzes the potential effect of global market competition on inflation dynamics. It does so through the lens of the Calvo model of staggered price setting, which implies that inflation depends on expected future inflation and a measure of marginal costs. I modify the assumption of a constant elasticity of demand, standard in this model, to provide a channel through which an increase in the number of traded goods may affect the degree of strategic complementarity in price setting and hence alter the dynamic response of inflation to marginal costs. I first discuss the behavior of ...
Local price variation and labor supply behavior
In standard economic theory, labor supply decisions depend on the complete set of prices: the wage and the prices of relevant consumption goods. Nonetheless, most of theoretical and empirical work ignores prices other than wages when studying labor supply. The question we address in this paper is whether the common practice of ignoring local price variation in labor supply studies is as innocuous as has generally been assumed. We describe a simple model to demonstrate that the effects of wage and non-labor income on labor supply will typically differ by location. We show, in particular, the ...
Local price variation and labor supply behavior
In standard economic theory, labor supply decisions depend on the complete set of prices: wages and the prices of relevant consumption goods. Nonetheless, most theoretical and empirical work in labor supply studies ignore prices other than wages. We address the question of whether the common practice of ignoring local price variation in labor supply studies is as innocuous as generally assumed. We describe a simple model to demonstrate that the effects of wage and nonlabor income on labor supply typically differ by location. In particular, we show that the derivative of the labor supply with ...
Why are goods and services more expensive in rich countries? demand complementarities and cross-country price differences
Empirical studies show that tradable consumption goods are more expensive in rich countries. This paper proposes a simple yet novel explanation for this apparent failure of the law of one price: Consumers? utility from tradable goods depends on their consumption of complementary goods and services. Monopolistically competitive firms charge higher prices in countries with more complementary goods and services because consumer demand is less elastic there. The paper embeds this explanation within a static Krugman (1980)-style model of international trade featuring differentiated tradable goods. ...
Are money growth and inflation still related?
Despite the long history and the substantial evidence supporting the conclusion that persistent changes in the price level are associated with changes in the money supply, the predicted association remains dis-puted. Is it debated because the empirical relationship holds over time periods so long that it may be uninformative for practitioners and policymakers, who are more concerned about inflation next month or next year? If it takes a generation for the relationship between money growth and inflation to become apparent, it would not be surprising that central bankers and practitioners put ...
Market conditions cause gasoline price hikes