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Essays in open-economy macroeconomics Pang, Ke


This dissertation addresses three issues in international macroeconomics. The first chapter examines optimal portfolio decisions in a monetary open economy DSGE model. In a complete market environment, Engel and Matsumoto (2005) find that sticky price can generate equity home bias. However, their result is sensitive to the structure of the financial market. In an incomplete market environment, we find “super home bias” in the equilibrium equity portfolio, which casts doubt on the ability of sticky price in describing the observed equity portfolios. We further show that introducing sticky wages helps to match the data. The second chapter analyzes the welfare impact of financial integration in a standard monetary open-economy model. Financial integration may have negative effects on welfare if integration occurs in the presence of nominal price rigidities and constraints on the efficient use of monetary policy. The reason is that financial integration leads to excessive terms of trade volatilities. From a policy perspective, the model implies that developing economies that are experiencing financial integration may attempt to alleviate the welfare cost of integration by stabilizing the exchange rate. This prediction is consistent with the widespread reluctance to following freely floating exchange rates among these economies. On the other hand, for advanced economies that have the ability to operate efficient inflation targeting monetary policies, financial integration is always beneficial. Thus, the model accounts for the observed acceleration in cross-border asset trade among advanced economies in the early 1990s as it was mainly the industrial countries that switched to an inflation targeting regime at the time. The third chapter uses an open-economy neoclassical growth model to explain the saving and investment behavior of the U.S. and a group of other OECD countries. We find that while the model explains investment quite well, it tends to overpredict U.S saving and underpredict saving in the rest of the world. We show that the closed-economy version of the model also predicts saving accurately but that is only because it imposes equality between saving and investment. In effect, the model explains investment not saving behavior.

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