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Global price dispersion: are prices converging or diverging?

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  • Paul R. Bergin
  • Reuven Glick

Abstract

This paper documents significant time-variation in the degree of global price convergence over the last two decades. In particular, there appears to be a general U-shaped pattern with price dispersion first falling and then rising in recent years, a pattern which is remarkably robust across country groupings and commodity groups. This time-variation is difficult to explain in terms of the standard gravity equation variables common in the literature, as these tend not to vary much over time or have not risen in recent years. However, regression analysis indicates that this time-varying pattern coincides well with oil price fluctuations, which are clearly time-varying and have risen substantially since the late 1990s. As a result, this paper offers new evidence on the role of transportation costs in driving international price dispersion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006-50.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2006-50

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Keywords: Prices;

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References

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  1. Glick, Reuven & Guo, Xueyan & Hutchison, Michael M., 2004. "Currency Crises, Capital Account Liberalization, and Selection Bias," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt12t6x2ht, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Paul R. Bergin & Reuven Glick, 2005. "Tradability, productivity, and understanding international economic integration," Working Paper Series 2005-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Glick, Reuven & Rose, Andrew K, 2001. "Does a Currency Union Affect Trade? The Time Series Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2891, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  5. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2004. "European product market integration after the euro," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 19(39), pages 347-384, 07.
  6. Mario J. Crucini & Chris I. Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2005. "Understanding European Real Exchange Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 724-738, June.
  7. Lothian, James R., 2006. "Institutions, capital flows and financial integration," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 358-369, April.
  8. David Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2012. "Time as a Trade Barrier," NBER Working Papers 17758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  10. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers & Shing-Yi B. Wang, 2003. "Revisiting the Border: an assessment of the law of one price using very disaggregated consumer price data," International Finance Discussion Papers 777, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Mario J. Crucini & Mototsugu Shintani, 2006. "Persistence in Law-Of-One-Price Deviations: Evidence from Micro-Data," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0616, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  12. David Parsley Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Currency Arrangements And Goods Market Integration: A Price Based Approach," International Finance 0211004, EconWPA.
  13. Hummels, David, 1999. "Toward a Geography of Trade Costs," GTAP Working Papers 1162, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  14. Mario Crucini & Chris Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2005. "Price Dispersion: The Role of Distance, Borders and Location," 2005 Meeting Papers 767, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Don Bredin & John Elder & Stilianos Fountas, 2010. "Oil Volatility and the Option Value of Waiting: An analysis of the G-7," Working Papers 201004, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. Jiří Schwarz, 2012. "Impact of institutions on cross-border price dispersion," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 148(4), pages 617-645, December.
  3. Parsley, David & Wei, Shang-jin, 2007. "In Search of a Euro Effect: Big Lessons from a Big Mac Meal?," MPRA Paper 6041, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Mario J. Crucini & Christopher I. Telmer, 2012. "Microeconomic Sources of Real Exchange Rate Variability," NBER Working Papers 17978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Neil Balchin, Lawrence Edwards and Asha Sundaram, 2014. "A Disaggregated Analysis of Product Price Integration in the Southern African Development Community," Working Papers 421, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  6. repec:cge:warwcg:14 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Pierre-Louis Vezina & David von Below, 2013. "The Trade Consequences of Pricey Oil," Economics Series Working Papers OxCarre Research Paper 11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Yin-Wong Cheung & Eiji Fujii, 2008. "Deviations from the Law of One Price in Japan," CESifo Working Paper Series 2275, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Ulrich Fritsche & Michael Graff & Michael Lamla & Sarah Lein & Volker Nitsch & David Liechti & Daniel Triet, 2009. "The euro and prices: changeover-related inflation and price convergence in the euro area," European Economy - Economic Papers 381, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  10. Lawrence Edwards & Neil Rankin, 2012. "Is Africa Integrating? Evidence from Product Markets," Working Papers 292, Economic Research Southern Africa.

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