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Income-Induced Expenditure Switching

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  • Rudolfs Bems
  • Julian di Giovanni

Abstract

This paper shows that an income effect can drive expenditure switching between domestic and imported goods. We use a unique Latvian scanner-level dataset, covering the 2008-2009 crisis, to document several empirical findings. First, expenditure switching accounted for one-third of the fall in imports, and took place within narrowly defined product groups. Second, there was no corresponding within group change in relative prices. Third, consumers substituted from expensive imports to cheaper domestic alternatives. These findings motivate us to estimate a model of nonhomothetic consumer demand, which explains two-thirds of the observed expenditure switching. Estimated switching is driven by income, not changes in relative prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Rudolfs Bems & Julian di Giovanni, 2016. "Income-Induced Expenditure Switching," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3898-3931, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:12:p:3898-3931
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20160251
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    Cited by:

    1. Auer, Raphael A. & Sauré, Philip, 2017. "Dynamic entry in vertically differentiated markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 177-205.
    2. Javier Cravino & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2017. "The Distributional Consequences of Large Devaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3477-3509, November.
    3. Konstantins Benkovskis, 2015. "Misallocation of Resources in Latvia: Did Anything Change During the Crisis?," Working Papers 2015/05, Latvijas Banka.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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