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 ...
Imperfectly credible disinflation under endogenous time-dependent pricing
The real effects of an imperfectly credible disinflation depend critically on the extent of price rigidity. Therefore, the study of how policymakers' credibility affects the outcome of an announced disinflation should include an analysis of the determinants of the frequency of price adjustments. In this paper, we examine how credibility affects the outcome of a disinflation in a model with endogenous time-dependent pricing rules. Both the initial degree of price rigidity, calculated optimally, and, more notably, changes in the duration of price spells during disinflation play an important ...
Optimal monetary and fiscal policy under discretion in the New Keynesian model: a technical appendix to \\"Great Expectations and the End of the Depression\\"
This paper details the microfoundations of the model presented in Staff Report no. 234, "Great Expectations and the End of the Depression." It defines the Markov perfect equilibrium formally in the nonlinear model, discusses in some detail the approximation method used and the order of accuracy of this approximation, and gives proofs of two propositions not proved in Staff Report no. 234. In addition, this paper states a proposition that shows the equivalence between the linear quadratic approximation in Staff Report no. 234 and a first order approximation to the exact nonlinear ...
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 ...
State-dependent pricing under infrequent information: a unified framework
We characterize optimal state-dependent pricing rules under various forms of infrequent information. In all models, infrequent price changes arise from the existence of a lump-sum "menu cost." We entertain various alternatives for the source and nature of infrequent information. In two benchmark cases with continuously available information, optimal pricing rules are purely state-dependent. In contrast, in all environments with infrequent information, optimal pricing rules are both time- and state-dependent, characterized by "trigger strategies" that depend on the time elapsed since ...
International dimensions of optimal monetary policy
This paper provides a baseline general-equilibrium model of optimal monetary policy among interdependent economies with monopolistic firms that set prices one period in advance. Strict adherence to inward-looking policy objectives such as the stabilization of domestic output cannot be optimal when firms' markups are exposed to currency fluctuations. Such policies induce excessive volatility in exchange rates and foreign sales revenue, leading exporters to set higher prices in response to higher profit risk. In general, optimal rules trade off a larger domestic output gap against lower import ...
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 ...
Measuring core inflation: notes from a 2007 Dallas Fed conference
In May 2007, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas hosted a conference, organized with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, titled "Price Measurement for Monetary Policy." The conference broadly focused on two issues - the measurement of core inflation and the measurement of inflation expectations. This paper summarizes the conference papers on core inflation.