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Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect

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  • Baldwin, Richard

Abstract

This paper shows that temporary real exchange rate fluctuations can have persistent (hysteretic) effects on trade. Specifically, when market-entry costs are sunk, sufficiently large exchange rate shocks alter domestic market structure and thereby induce hysteresis. This simple result has strong implications for exchange rate theory, t rade policy, and estimation of trade equations. Empirical evidence su ggests that the recent dollar overvaluation induced hysteresis in U.S. import prices. Namely, the aggregate pass-through equation (of exchange rates to import prices) shifted in the 1980s. The shift's nature and timing is broadly consistent with the hysteresis hypothesis. Copyright 1988 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-785, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:78:y:1988:i:4:p:773-85
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    1. Charles Bean, 1988. "Sterling Misalignment and British Trade Performance," NBER Chapters, in: Misalignment of Exchange Rates: Effects on Trade and Industry, pages 39-76, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Baldwin, Richard, 1990. "Hysteresis in Trade," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 127-142.
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