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The Geography of Consumer Prices

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  • Adam Reiff

    (National Bank of Hungary)

  • Attila Ratfai

    (Central European University)

Abstract

We argue that the underlying width of the border in international price determination is a trivial fraction of the corresponding Engel and Rogers (1996) reduced form estimate. We develop a two-country, multi-region, dynamic, stochastic equilibrium model of monopolistic competition with costly price adjustment and cross-location shopping. The optimal price is proportional to a weighted average of market prices, with weights negatively related to shopping costs. We calibrate structural distance and border parameters to a unique panel of store-level prices, and conclude that price adjustment costs directly account for about a quarter of the reduced form border width.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 799.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:799

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  1. Alexander L. Wolman, 2007. "The frequency and costs of individual price adjustment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(6), pages 531-552.
  2. Jonathan Haskel & Holger Wolf, 2001. "The Law of One Price - A Case Study," NBER Working Papers 8112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M, 1997. "Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 1672, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
  5. Engel, C. & Rogers, J.H., 1995. "How Wide is the Border?," Papers 4-95-16, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  6. Jonathan L. Willis & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Real Rigidities and Nominal Price Changes," 2007 Meeting Papers 844, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Explaining the Border Effect: The Role of Exchange Rate Variability, Shipping Costs, and Geography," NBER Working Papers 7836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Understanding International Price Differences Using Barcode Data," NBER Working Papers 14017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Péter Gábriel & �dám Reiff, 2010. "Price setting in Hungary-a store-level analysis," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2-3), pages 161-176.
  10. Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1994. "Pricing in International Markets: Lessons from The Economist," Working Papers 94-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  11. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
  12. Marcus Asplund & Richard Friberg, 2001. "The Law of One Price in Scandinavian Duty-Free Stores," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1072-1083, September.
  13. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "Border Effect or Country Effect? Seattle May Not Be So Far from Vancouver After All," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 219-41, January.
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