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Real Exchange Rate and External Balance: How Important Are Price Deflators?

Jaebin Ahn, Rui Mano and Jing Zhou

Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 2020, vol. 52, issue 8, 2111-2130

Abstract: This paper contrasts real effective exchange rate (REER) measures based on different deflators (consumer price index, GDP deflator, and unit labor cost) and discusses potential implications for the link—or lack thereof—between the REER and the external balance. We begin by comparing the evolution of different measures of REER to confirm that the choice of deflator plays a significant role in REER movements. A subsequent empirical investigation based on 35 developed and emerging market economies over 1995–2017 yields comprehensive and robust evidence that only the REER deflated by unit labor cost exhibits contemporaneous patterns consistent with the expenditure‐switching mechanism. Finally, we show that a standard open‐economy model with nominal rigidities and trade in intermediate goods is able to generate these aforementioned patterns.

Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Real Exchange Rate and External Balance: How Important Are Price Deflators? (2017) Downloads
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