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Pricing-to-Market and the Failure of Absolute PPP

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  • George Alessandria
  • Joseph P. Kaboski

Abstract

We show that deviations from the law of one price in tradable goods are an important source of violations of absolute purchasing power parity. Using highly disaggregated export data, we document systematic international price discrimination: at the US dock, low-income countries pay lower prices. This pricing-to-market is about twice as important as local nontraded inputs for differences in tradable prices. We propose a model of consumer search and pricing-to-market in which consumers in low-income countries have a comparative advantage in nontraded, nonmarket search activities. Evidence from cross-country time-use studies and US export prices supports the model. (JEL E31, F14)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 91-127

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:91-127

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.1.91
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Cited by:
  1. Mario J. Crucini & Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2013. "Understanding Long-run Price Dispersion," NBER Working Papers 18811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lakner, Christoph & Milanovic, Branko, 2013. "Global income distribution : from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the great recession," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6719, The World Bank.
  3. David Lagakos, 2009. "Superstores or mom and pops? Technolgy adoption and productivity differences in retail trade," Staff Report 428, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Alberto Cavallo & Brent Neiman & Roberto Rigobon, 2012. "Currency Unions, Product Introductions, and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 18563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eddy Bekkers & Joseph Francois & Miriam Manchin, 2012. "Import Prices, Income and Inequality," Economics working papers 2012-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  6. Mario J. Crucini & Christopher I. Telmer, 2012. "Microeconomic Sources of Real Exchange Rate Variability," NBER Working Papers 17978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ina Simonovska, 2010. "Income differences and prices of tradables," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  8. Daniel P. Murphy, 2013. "Why are goods and services more expensive in rich countries? demand complementarities and cross-country price differences," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 156, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  9. Ariel Burstein & Gita Gopinath, 2013. "International Prices and Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 18829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Michael J. Ferrantino & Robert M. Feinberg & Lauren Deason, 2012. "Quality Competition and Pricing-to-Market: A Unified Framework for the Analysis of Bilateral Unit Values," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 860-877, January.
  11. Joakim Gullstrand & Karin Olofsdotter & Susanna Thede, 2014. "Markups and export-pricing strategies," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 150(2), pages 221-239, May.
  12. Eyal Dvir & Georg H. Strasser, 2013. "Does Marketing Widen Borders? Cross-Country Price Dispersion in the European Car Market," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 831, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 04 Apr 2014.
  13. Andrei A. Levchenko & Logan T. Lewis & Linda L. Tesar, 2011. "The "Collapse in Quality" Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 293-97, May.
  14. Peter McQuade, 2010. "The Evolution of International Trade on the Extensive and Intensive Margins," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp325, IIIS, revised Apr 2010.
  15. Michael Ferrantino & Robert M. Feinberg & Lauren Deason, 2009. "Quality competition, Pricing-To-Market and Non-Tariff measures: A Unified Framework For the Analysis of Bilateral Unit Values," Working Papers 2009-03, American University, Department of Economics.
  16. Treb Allen, 2012. "Information Frictions in Trade," 2012 Meeting Papers 125, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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