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Can trade costs explain why exchange rate volatility does not feed into consumer prices?


  • Fitzgerald, Doireann


If countries specialize in imperfectly substitutable goods, trade costs increase the share of expenditure devoted to domestic output, reducing the exposure of consumer price inflation to exchange rate changes. I present a multi-country flexible-price model where expenditure shares are inversely related to trade costs through a gravity equation. In this setting, consumer price inflation can be approximated as an expenditure-share-weighted average of the contributions to inflation from all countries. I use data from 24 OECD countries, 1970-2003, to estimate a structural gravity model. I combine the fitted expenditure shares from the estimation with actual data on exchange rates to construct predictions of inflation. The behavior of these predictions indicates that trade costs can explain both qualitatively and quantitatively the failure of exchange rate volatility to feed into inflation.

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  • Fitzgerald, Doireann, 2008. "Can trade costs explain why exchange rate volatility does not feed into consumer prices?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 606-628, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:55:y:2008:i:3:p:606-628

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
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    8. Froot, Kenneth A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Perspectives on PPP and long-run real exchange rates," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 1647-1688 Elsevier.
    9. Hau, Harald, 2002. "Real Exchange Rate Volatility and Economic Openness: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(3), pages 611-630, August.
    10. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2005. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of International Trade Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012200, July.
    11. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    12. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Burstein, Ariel T. & Neves, Joao C. & Rebelo, Sergio, 2003. "Distribution costs and real exchange rate dynamics during exchange-rate-based stabilizations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1189-1214, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas A. Lubik & Katheryn N. Russ, 2012. "Exchange rate volatility in a simple model of firm entry and FDI," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 1Q, pages 51-76.
    2. Ricardo Reyes-Heroles, 2017. "The Role of Trade Costs in the Surge of Trade Imbalances," 2017 Meeting Papers 212, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Claudio Bravo-Ortega, 2009. "Do Multilateral Trade Linkages Explain Bilateral Real Exchange Rate Volatility?," Working Papers wp304, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    4. Doireann Fitzgerald, 2012. "Trade Costs, Asset Market Frictions, and Risk Sharing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2700-2733, October.
    5. repec:eee:japwor:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:23-31 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ariel Burstein & Gita Gopinath, 2013. "International Prices and Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 18829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:fip:fedreq:y:2012:i:1q:p:51-76:n:vol.98no.1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Robertson, Raymond & Kumar, Anil & Dutkowsky, Donald H., 2014. "Weak-form and strong-form purchasing power parity between the US and Mexico: A panel cointegration investigation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 241-262.
    9. Burstein, Ariel & Gopinath, Gita, 2014. "International Prices and Exchange Rates," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.

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