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A Gravity View of Exchange Rate Disconnect

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  • Fitzgerald, Doireann
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    Abstract

    The empirical “gravity†equation is extremely successful in explaining bilateral trade. This paper shows how a multi-country model of specialization and costly trade (i.e. a microfounded gravity model) can be applied to explain empirical exchange rate puzzles. One such puzzle is the fact that nominal exchange rates are enormously volatile, but that this volatility does not appear to affect inflation. The gravity model is very successful in explaining this puzzle. In a sample of 25 OECD countries in the post- Bretton Woods period, the gravity prediction of inflation substantially outperforms the purchasing power parity prediction. The gravity prediction matches the volatility of actual inflation, and tracks its path closely. The superior performance of the gravity prediction is explained primarily by the fact that it takes account of the interaction of specialization with home bias. The stability of inflation in very open economies is explained in addition by the fact that the size of bilateral trade is negatively correlated with bilateral exchange rate volatility.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt05121869.

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    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt05121869

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    Keywords: Exchange rate disconnect; Trade; Gravity equation;

    References

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    1. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2004. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 599, Boston College Department of Economics.
    2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola, 2002. "Macroeconomics of international price discrimination," International Finance Discussion Papers 744, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," International Trade 0012003, EconWPA.
    4. Charles Engel, 1995. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," NBER Working Papers 5394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Philip R. Lane & Patrick Honohan, 2003. "Divergent Inflation Rates in EMU," Trinity Economics Papers 20034, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    6. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Shang-Jin Wei., 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-026, University of California at Berkeley.
    7. Christian Broda & John Romalis, 2011. "Identifying the Relationship Between Trade and Exchange Rate Volatility," NBER Chapters, in: Commodity Prices and Markets, East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 20, pages 79-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Engel, C. & Rogers, J.H., 1996. "Regional Patterns in the Law of One Price: The Roles of Geography vs. Currencies," Working Papers 96-01, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    9. José Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2005. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 679-690, November.
    10. Papell, David H & Theodoridis, Hristos, 2001. "The Choice of Numeraire Currency in Panel Tests of Purchasing Power Parity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 790-803, August.
    11. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    12. Paul Bergin & Reuven Glick, 2005. "Endogenous Tradability andMacroeconomic Implications," Working Papers 513, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    13. Hau, Harald, 2002. "Real Exchange Rate Volatility and Economic Openness: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(3), pages 611-30, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. 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.

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