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Border prices and retail prices

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Author Info

  • Berger, David
  • Faust, Jon
  • Rogers, John H.
  • Steverson, Kai

Abstract

We analyze retail prices and at-the-dock (import) prices of specific items in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) CPI and IPP databases, using both databases simultaneously to identify items that are identical in description at the dock and when sold at retail. This identification allows us to measure the distribution wedge associated with bringing traded goods from the point of entry into the United States to their retail outlet. We find that overall U.S. distribution wedges are 50–70%, around 10 to 20 percentage points higher than that reported in the literature. We discuss the implications of this for measuring the size of the “pure” tradeables sector, exchange rate pass-through, and real exchange rate determination. We find that distribution wedges are very stable over time but there is considerable variation across items. There is some variation across the country of origin for the imported item, for our major trading partners, but not as much as the cross-item variation. We also investigate the determinants of distribution wedges, finding that wedges do not vary systematically with exchange rates, but are related to other features of the micro data.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 62-73

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:88:y:2012:i:1:p:62-73

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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Keywords: Prices; Distribution; Exchange rates;

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References

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  1. repec:fip:fedgsq:y:2007:i:mar2 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
  3. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2004. "International risk-sharing and the transmission of productivity shocks," Working Paper Series 0308, European Central Bank.
  4. Hamid Faruqee & Dalia Hakura & Ehsan U. Choudhri, 2002. "Explaining the Exchange Rate Pass-Through in Different Prices," IMF Working Papers 02/224, International Monetary Fund.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 593, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel & CÈdric Tille, 2003. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through and the Welfare Effects of the Euro," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 223-242, February.
  7. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2004. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 10986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 675-727, May.
  9. Gita Gopinath & Roberto Rigobon, 2008. "Sticky Borders," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 531-575, 05.
  10. Linda S. Goldberg & José Manuel Campa, 2010. "The Sensitivity of the CPI to Exchange Rates: Distribution Margins, Imported Inputs, and Trade Exposure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 392-407, May.
  11. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2008. "A Structural Approach to Explaining Incomplete Exchange-Rate Pass-Through and Pricing-to-Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 423-29, May.
  12. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2008. "Pricing-to-Market, Trade Costs, and International Relative Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1998-2031, December.
  13. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Roberto Rigobon, 2007. "Currency Choice and Exchange Rate Pass-through," NBER Working Papers 13432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  15. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2010. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1192-1230.
  16. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  17. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2008. "High exchange-rate volatility and low pass-through," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1113-1128, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dong, Wei, 2012. "The role of expenditure switching in the global imbalance adjustment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 237-251.
  2. Mario J. Crucini & J. Scott Davis, 2013. "Distribution Capital and the Short- and Long-Run Import Demand Elasticity," NBER Working Papers 18753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Baxter, Marianne & Landry, Anthony E., 2012. "IKEA: product, pricing, and pass-through," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov, pages 1-32.
  4. Marianne Baxter & Anthony Landry, 2012. "IKEA: product, pricing, and pass-through," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 132, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  5. Michael Sposi, 2013. "Trade barriers and the relative price tradables," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 139, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

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