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Who bears the cost of a change in the exchange rate? Pass-through accounting for the case of beer

  • Hellerstein, Rebecca

Nominal exchange rates are remarkably volatile. They ordinarily appear disconnected from the fundamentals of the economies whose currencies they price. These facts make up a classic puzzle about the international economy. If prices do not respond fully to changes in the nominal exchange rate, who bears the cost of such large and unpredictable changes: foreign firms, domestic firms, or domestic consumers? This study presents a new analysis of the sources of incomplete pass-through and then uses this analysis to re-examine its implications for social welfare. I develop and estimate a structural model that analyzes the sources of local-currency price stability for a particular industry. The model enables counterfactual simulations that quantify the relative importance of firms' local-cost components and markup adjustments in the incomplete transmission of exchange-rate shocks to prices and the effect of the exchange-rate shock on domestic and foreign firms' profits and on consumer surplus. The model is applied to a panel dataset of one industry with retail and wholesale prices for UPC-level products. I find that markup adjustments by manufacturers and the retailer explain roughly half of the incomplete transmission and local-cost components account for the other half. Foreign manufacturers generally bear a greater cost (or reap a greater benefit) following an exchange-rate-induced marginal-cost shock than do domestic consumers, domestic manufacturers, or the domestic retailer.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 76 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 14-32

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:76:y:2008:i:1:p:14-32
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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  6. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1999. "Deviations from Purchasing Power Parity:Causes and Welfare Costs," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0038, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
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  8. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2005. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 742-784, August.
  9. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  10. Nevo, Aviv, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 037, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
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  14. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0sx02651, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  15. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
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  17. 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.
  18. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
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