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Revisiting the importance of non-tradable goods' prices in cyclical real exchange rate fluctuations

  • Bache, Ida Wolden
  • Sveen, Tommy
  • Torstensen, Kjersti Næss

In an influential paper Engel (1999) argues that essentially all the fluctuations in the real exchange rate can be attributed to fluctuations in the relative price of traded goods, and that only a small part of the fluctuations can be attributed to changes in the relative price of non-tradables. We revisit this important issue and our main finding suggests that the relative distribution wedge, i.e. the relationship between traded goods' prices at-the-dock and the retail prices of those goods, is key to understanding real exchange rate fluctuations. Importantly, our results suggest that variations in the relative wedge are driven by fluctuations in mark-ups and not in distribution costs.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 57 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 98-107

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:57:y:2013:i:c:p:98-107
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  1. Betts, Caroline & Devereux, Michael B., 1996. "The exchange rate in a model of pricing-to-market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1007-1021, April.
  2. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2005. "The Importance of Nontradable Goods' Prices in Cyclical Real Exchange Rate Fluctuations," RCER Working Papers 523, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. repec:oup:restud:v:69:y:2002:i:3:p:533-63 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J & McGrattan, Ellen R, 2002. "Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 533-63, July.
  5. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2004. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," RCER Working Papers 513, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Caroline M. Betts & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2004. "U.S. real exchange rate fluctuations and relative price fluctuations," Staff Report 334, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
  8. Caroline M. Betts & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2008. "Real exchange rate movements and the relative price of non-traded goods," Staff Report 415, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Betts, Caroline & Devereux, Michael B., 2000. "Exchange rate dynamics in a model of pricing-to-market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 215-244, February.
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