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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. Reuven Glick & Xueyan Guo & Michael Hutchison, 2004. "Currency Crises, Capital Account Liberalization, and Selection Bias," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-11, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Mario Crucini & Chris Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2003. "Price dispersion: The role of distance, borders and location," GSIA Working Papers 2004-E25, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  3. Hummels, David, 1999. "Toward a Geography of Trade Costs," GTAP Working Papers 1162, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  4. Glick, Reuven & Rose, Andrew K., 2002. "Does a currency union affect trade? The time-series evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1125-1151, June.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 10480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.).
  7. David L. Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2013. "Time as a Trade Barrier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2935-59, December.
  8. Mario J. Crucini & Mototsugu Shintani, 2002. "Persistence in Law-Of-One-Price Deviations: Evidence from Micro-Data," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0222, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised Jul 2004.
  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. Paul R. Bergin & Reuven Glick, 2005. "Tradability, Productivity, and Understanding International Economic Integration," NBER Working Papers 11637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mario J. Crucini & Chris I. Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2001. "Understanding European Real Exchange Rates," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0120, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  12. Lothian, James R., 2006. "Institutions, capital flows and financial integration," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 358-369, April.
  13. 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.
  14. David Parsley Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Currency Arrangements And Goods Market Integration: A Price Based Approach," International Finance 0211004, EconWPA.
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Cited by:
  1. Jiøí Schwarz, 2011. "Impact of Institutions on Cross-Border Price Dispersion," Working Papers IES 2011/30, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Sep 2011.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Yin-Wong Cheung & Eiji Fujii, 2008. "Deviations from the Law of One Price in Japan," CESifo Working Paper Series 2275, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. David von Below & Pierre-Louis Vezina, 2013. "The Trade Consequences of Pricey Oil," OxCarre Working Papers 115, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Chinn, Menzie D., 2010. "Supply Capacity, Vertical Specialisation andTrade Costs: The Implications for Aggreagate US Trade Flow Equations," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 14, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  8. Lawrence Edwards & Neil Rankin, 2012. "Is Africa Integrating? Evidence from Product Markets," Working Papers 292, Economic Research Southern Africa.

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