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Exchange rates and profit margins: the case of Japanese exporters

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  • Thomas Klitgaard

Abstract

When exchange rates shift, exporters must decide whether it is more important to maintain profit margins or to maintain stable export prices. This examination of Japanese exporters finds that these firms have taken a middle course: By altering their profit margins to some degree, the exporters moderate the exchange-rate-induced changes in prices seen by their foreign customers. The analysis finds that in the three major exporting industries - industrial machinery, electrical machinery, and transportation equipment - a 10 percent rise in the yen leads firms to lower profit margins on exports by 4 percent relative to the margins on their sales in Japan. That is, the exporters pass on more than half of any change in the yen to the price seen by their foreign customers and absorb the remainder by adjusting profit margins on foreign sales.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Klitgaard, 1999. "Exchange rates and profit margins: the case of Japanese exporters," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 41-54.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:1999:i:apr:p:41-54:n:v.5no.1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Khosla, Anil, 1991. "Exchange rate pass-through and export pricing evidence from the Japanese Economy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 41-59, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schnabl, Gunther & Baur, Dirk, 2002. "Purchasing power parity: Granger causality tests for the yen-dollar exchange rate," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 425-444, December.
    2. Athukorala, Premachandra & Menon, Jayant, 1994. "Pricing to Market Behaviour and Exchange Rate Pass-Through in Japanese Exports," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 271-281, March.
    3. Stephan Schulmeister, 2000. "Purchasing Power Parities of the Dollar and Euro," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 73(8), pages 487-500, August.
    4. Sammo Kang & Soyoung Kim & Yunjong Wang, 2005. "The effects of the yen|dollar exchange rate on the Korean economy," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 167-183.
    5. Brissimis, Sophocles N. & Kosma, Theodora S., 2007. "Market power and exchange rate pass-through," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 202-222.
    6. Khalaf, Lynda & Kichian, Maral, 2000. "Testing the Pricing-to-Market Hypothesis: Case of the Transportation Equipment Industry," Staff Working Papers 00-8, Bank of Canada.
    7. Jonathan McCarthy, 2007. "Pass-Through of Exchange Rates and Import Prices to Domestic Inflation in Some Industrialized Economies," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 511-537, Fall.
    8. Baoying Lai & Nathan Lael Joseph, 2010. "Pricing-to-market and the volatility of UK export prices," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(18), pages 1441-1460.
    9. Jack J Ree & Gee Hee Hong & Seoeun Choi, 2015. "Should Korea Worry about a Permanently Weak Yen?," IMF Working Papers 15/158, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Sophocles N. Brissimis & Theodora S. Kosma, 2006. "Market Conduct, Price Interdependence and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," Working Papers 51, Bank of Greece.
    11. Verheyen, Florian, 2013. "Exchange rate nonlinearities in EMU exports to the US," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 66-76.
    12. Andrés Langebaek R & Walter Osorio R., 2008. "Ajustes estratégicos de precios ante variaciones de la tasa de cambio: evidencia en las exportaciones no tradicionales colombianas," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 26(56), pages 46-76, June.
    13. THORBECKE, Willem, 2012. "The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Exchange Rate Changes on the Japanese Electronics Industry," Discussion papers 12019, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    14. Mohsen Bahmani-Oskooee & Yomgqing Wang, 2007. "The J-Curve At The Industry Level: Evidence From Trade Between The Us And Australia ," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 315-328, December.
    15. Bhattacharya, Prasad S. & Karayalcin, Cem A. & Thomakos, Dimitrios D., 2008. "Exchange rate pass-through and relative prices: An industry-level empirical investigation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1135-1160, November.
    16. Matthew Higgins & Thomas Klitgaard, 2000. "Asia's trade performance after the currency crisis," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 37-49.
    17. Robert W. Rich & Donald Rissmiller, 2000. "Understanding the recent behavior of U.S. inflation," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 6(Jul).
    18. MoonJoong Tcha & Jae H. Kim, 2003. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through and Market Response: The Case of the US Steel Market," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 03-02, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.

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