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Monetary Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa$
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Andrew Berg and Rafael Portillo

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785811

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198785811.001.0001

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On the First-Round Effects of International Food Price Shocks

On the First-Round Effects of International Food Price Shocks

(p.169) Chapter 10 On the First-Round Effects of International Food Price Shocks
Monetary Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Rafael Portillo

Luis-Felipe Zanna

Oxford University Press

The chapter presents a small open-economy model to study the first-round effects of international food-price shocks in developing countries. First-round shocks are defined as changes in headline inflation that, holding core inflation constant, help implement relative price adjustments. The model features three goods (food, a generic traded good, and a non-traded good), varying degrees of tradability of the food basket, and alternative international asset market structures. First-round effects depend crucially on the asset market structure. Under complete markets, inter-temporal substitution prevails, making the inflationary impact of international food price shocks proportional to the food share in consumption, which in developing countries is typically large. Under financial autarky, the income channel is dominant, and first-round effects are instead proportional to the country’s food trade balance, which is typically small. The results cast some doubt on the view that international food price shocks inherently have large inflationary effects in developing countries.

Keywords:   Food price shocks, first-round effects, inflation, New Keynesian models, asset market structure, exchange rates, low-income countries, developing countries

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