Wage Indexation and Exchange Market Intervention in a Small Open Economy

Stephen J. Turnovsky

NBER Working Paper No. 1170 (Also Reprint No. r0465)
Issued in July 1983
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment Program, International Finance and Macroeconomics Program

The analysis of this paper stresses the interdependence between wage indexation on the one hand, and exchange market intervention on the other,as tools of'macroeconomic stabilization policy in a small open economy subject to stochastic disturbances. It is shown how the choice of eitherpolicy instrument impinges on the effectiveness of the other. In particular,if the domestic money wage is fully indexed to some weighted average of the domestic and foreign price levels, then irrespective of what that chosen weight may be, exchange market intervention is rendered totally ineffective insofar as the stabilization of the real part of the domestic economy is concerned. Likewise, if the monetary authority intervenes in the exchange market so as to exactly accommodate for nominal movements in the demand for money, thereby rendering the excess demand for money dependent only upon real variables, then any form of wage indexation is totally ineffective for the stabilization of the real part of the system. In either polar case, the respective instrument can stabilize the domestic price level. Alternative combinations of policy for the stabilization for domestic and foreign disturbances are considered.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1170

Published: Turnovsk, Stephen J. "Wage Indexation and Exchange Market Intervention in a Small Open Economy." Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 16, No. 4, (November 1983), pp. 574-592. citation courtesy of

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