New Open Economy Macroeconomics

Obstfeld, Maurice, Kenneth Rogoff, Elhanan Helpman, and Effraim Sadka. 2002. “Risk and Exchange Rates.” Contemporary Economic Policy: Essays in Honor of Assaf Razin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. NBER Working Paper; Abstract

This paper develops an explicitly stochastic new open economy macroeconomics' model, which can potentially be used to explore the qualitative and quantitative welfare differences between alternative exchange rate regimes. A crucial feature is that we do not simplify by assuming certainty equivalence for producer price setting behavior. Our framework also provides a sticky-price alternative to Lucas's (1982) exchange rate risk premium model. We show that the level risk premium' in the exchage rate is potentially quite large and may be an important missing fundamental in empirical exchange rate equations. As a byproduct analysis also suggests an intriguing possible explanation of the forward premium puzzle.

Obstfeld, Maurice, and Kenneth Rogoff. 2000. “New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models.” Journal of International Economics 50: 117-53.Abstract

The paper develops a simple stochastic new open economy macroeconomic model based on sticky nominal wages. Explicit solution of the wage-setting problem under uncertainty allows one to analyze the effects of the monetary regime on welfare, expected output, and the expected terms of trade. Despite the potential interplay between imperfections due to sticky wages and monopoly, the optimal monetary policy rule has a closed-form solution. To motivate our model, we show that observed correlations between terms of trade and exchange rates are more consistent with our traditional assumptions about nominal rigidities than with a popular alternative based on local-currency pricing.

Obstfeld, Maurice, and Kenneth Rogoff. 1995. “Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux.” The Journal of Political Economy 103: 624–60.Abstract

We develop an analytically tractable two-country model that marries a full account of global macroeconomic dynamics to a supply framework based on monopolistic competition and sticky nominal prices. The model offers simple and intuitive predictions about exchange rates and current accounts that sometimes differ sharply from those of either modern flexible-price inter-temporal models or traditional sticky price Keynesian models. Our analysis leads to a novel perspective on international welfare spillovers due to monetary and fiscal policies.