Symmetric pass-through of tariffs and exchange rates under imperfect competition: An empirical test
This paper examines the effect of tariffs and exchange rates on U.S. prices of Japanese cars, trucks and motorcycles. In particular, we test whether the long run pass-through of tariffs and exchange rates are identical: the symmetry hypothesis. We find that this hypothesis is easily accepted in our sample. We also find that the pass-through relation varies across products, ranging from about 0.6 for trucks to unity for motorcycles. These coefficients have very different implications for trade policy. We explain the results based on demand, cost and institutional conditions in each industry. We also find weak evidence that the pass-through of exchange rates has fallen in more recent years.
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