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The Euro Changeover and Its Effects on Price Transparency and Inflation

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  • WIOLETTA DZIUDA
  • GIOVANNI MASTROBUONI

Abstract

Despite the expectations of economists that the euro changeover would have no effect on prices, European consumers perceived the opposite. To shed some light on this puzzle, we develop a model of imperfect information in which cheaper goods experience higher price growth after the changeover. Retailers, aware of consumers' difficulties in adopting the new currency, use currency changeovers to increase profits by increasing prices. The lower the price transparency after the changeover, the higher the euro-related inflation. Using data on inflation (Eurostat) and price levels (Economist Intelligence Unit), we show that although the euro changeover did not significantly increase inflation, it nevertheless had a distortionary effect on prices. After the changeover, cheaper goods had higher inflation, and this effect was stronger in countries in which people found dealing with the new currency problematic. Copyright (c) 2009 The Ohio State University.

Suggested Citation

  • Wioletta Dziuda & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2009. "The Euro Changeover and Its Effects on Price Transparency and Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 101-129, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:41:y:2009:i:1:p:101-129
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    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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