Abstract

This paper explores two policy options in emerging market economies (EMEs) to cope with volatile capital flows due to external monetary policy shocks; capital control policy and choice of exchange rate regime. Both tools reinforce each other when a foreign exchange risk premium shock hits the economy. A contractionary U.S. monetary policy shock has significant real effects in EMEs. Conventional wisdom tells us that a free floating exchange rate with inflation targeting is better when a country faces foreign shocks. However, we show that a flexible exchange rate with less capital controls is not the best option in EMEs based on vector autoregression analysis. Moreover, we set up a small open economy new Keynesian model with real wage and price rigidities. It shows that the small economy with labor market frictions is more vulnerable to exogenous shocks such as a foreign exchange rate shock under a fixed exchange rate regime than under a flexible exchange regime. We show that maintaining price stability is not desirable when there are substantial frictions in the labor market and the intratemporal elasticity of substitution is high. Finally, the model shows that the welfare cost difference between a policy of maintaining purchasing power and a policy aimed at price stability reverses as the intratemporal elasticity of substitution between home and foreign goods increases.

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