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Pricing to Habits and the Law of One Price

  • Morten O. Ravn
  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé
  • Martín Uribe

This paper proposes a novel international transmission mechanism based on the assumption of deep habits. The term deep habits stands for a preference specification according to which consumers form habits on a good-by-good basis. Under deep habits, firms face more elastic demand functions in markets where nonhabitual demand is high relative to habitual demand, creating an incentive to price discriminate. We refer to this type of price discrimination as pricing to habits. In the presence of pricing to habits, innovations to domestic aggregate demand induce a decline in markups in the domestic country but not abroad, leading to a departure from the law of one price. In this way, the proposed pricing-to-habit mechanism can explain the observation that prices of the same good across countries, expressed in the same currency, vary over the business cycle. Furthermore, it can account for the empirical fact that in response to a positive domestic demand shock, such as an increase in government spending, the real exchange rate depreciates, domestic consumption expands, and the trade balance deteriorates.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.97.2.232
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 232-238

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:2:p:232-238
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.2.232
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Crucini, Mario J. & Shintani, Mototsugu, 2008. "Persistence in law of one price deviations: Evidence from micro-data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 629-644, April.
  2. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Mart�n Uribe, 2006. "Deep Habits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 195-218.
  3. Galí, Jordi & Rabanal, Pau, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Post-War US Data?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4522, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2006. "Pricing to Habits and the Law of One Price," NBER Working Papers 12731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2002. "Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption," Economics Working Papers 911, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2005.
  6. Jordi Gali & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBS Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," NBER Working Papers 10636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
  8. Kenneth A. Froot & Paul Klemperer, 1989. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through When Market Share Matters," NBER Working Papers 2542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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