Boyang Zhang

Department of Economics
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY, 14853

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Cornell University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2015Distributional Effects of Monetary Policy in Emerging Market Economies
with Eswar Prasad: w21471
We develop a two-sector, heterogeneous-agent model with incomplete financial markets to study the distributional effects and aggregate welfare implications of alternative monetary policy rules in emerging market economies. Relative to inflation targeting, exchange rate management benefits households in the tradable goods sector but in the long run these households are worse off due to higher consumption volatility. A fixed exchange rate reduces the welfare of these households and aggregate welfare when the economy is hit by positive shocks to nontradable goods productivity or foreign interest rates. Fiscal policy can more efficiently achieve similar short-run distributional objectives as exchange rate management.
July 2015What Measure of Inflation Should a Developing Country Central Bank Target?
with Rahul Anand, Eswar Prasad: w21388
In closed or open economy models with complete markets, targeting core inflation enables monetary policy to maximize welfare by replicating the flexible price equilibrium. We analyze this result in the context of developing economies, where a large proportion of households are credit constrained and the share of food expenditures in total consumption expenditures is high. We develop an open economy model with incomplete financial markets to show that headline inflation targeting improves welfare outcomes. We also compute the optimal price index, which includes a positive weight on food prices but, unlike headline inflation, assigns zero weight to import prices.

Published: Anand, Rahul & Prasad, Eswar S. & Zhang, Boyang, 2015. "What measure of inflation should a developing country central bank target?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 102-116. citation courtesy of

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