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The Distributional Consequences of Large Devaluations

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  • Javier Cravino
  • Andrei A. Levchenko

Abstract

We study the impact of large exchange rate devaluations on the cost of living at different points on the income distribution. Poor households spend relatively more on tradeable product categories and consume lower-priced varieties within categories. Changes in the relative price of tradeables and of lower-priced varieties affect the cost of living of low-income relative to high-income households. We quantify these effects following the 1994 Mexican devaluation and show that they can have large distributional consequences. Two years post-devaluation, the cost of living for the bottom income decile rose 1.48 to 1.62 times more than for the top income decile.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:11:p:3477-3509
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20151551
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bonadio, Barthélémy & Fischer, Andreas M & Sauré, Philip, 2016. "The speed of the exchange rate pass-through," CEPR Discussion Papers 11195, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Thibault Fally & Benjamin Faber, 2016. "Firm Heterogeneity in Consumption Baskets: Evidence from Home and Store Scanner Data," 2016 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Han, Jun & Liu, Runjuan & Ural Marchand, Beyza & Zhang, Junsen, 2016. "Market structure, imperfect tariff pass-through, and household welfare in Urban China," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 220-232.
    4. Justin Caron & Thibault Fally & James R. Markusen, 2017. "Per Capita Income and the Demand for Skills," CESifo Working Paper Series 6514, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Bonadio, Barthélémy & Fischer, Andreas M. & Saure, Philip, 2016. "The speed of exchange rate pass-through," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 282, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    6. Javier Cravino & Ting Lan & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2018. "Price Stickiness along the Income Distribution and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 24654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:102-121 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ingvild Almås & Anders Kjelsrud, 2016. "Pro-poor Price Trends and Inequality - The Case of India," CESifo Working Paper Series 5740, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy

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