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Changes réels et compétitivité de la France, l'Italie, la RFA et les Etats-Unis

  • Jacques Le Cacheux
  • François Lecointe

[eng] Real Exchange Rates and Competitiveness : France, Italy, the FRG and the USA Jacques Le Cacheux, François Lecointe The study of an economy's international competitiveness is notoriously difficult, in that it has to simultaneously take account of factors that can be regarded as exogenous to the firm — such as exchange rates and production costs — and of aspects that result from the firm's behavior — their mark-up rates and their desired market shares in particular. The nominal evolutions observed in recent years have been too diverse to allow any immediate inference of possible modifications in relative competitive positions. This paper presents a simple modelling of price determination on imperfectly competitive and geographically distinct markets, a characterization that seems to fit the actual trade of many manufactured goods. In such a framework firms react to variations in their costs or in the exchange rates both by altering their mark-up and by witnessing gains or losses in their market shares. A new indicator of the real effective exchange rates of the US dollar, the French Franc, the Deutsche Mark and the Italian Lira is also presented and discussed. Comparing it with several commonly used indicators leads to a more nuanced judgement about real movements of these currencies in recent years. Eventually a tentative reading of the changing market shares in the US and of the trend in the ratio of exports to imports of manufactured goods for these countries is proposed in the light of observed evolutions in various complementary measures of competitiveness. This last exercise reveals the power, but also the limitations, of the approach. [fre] L'étude de la compétitivité internationale d'une économie est notoirement délicate, en ce qu'elle doit prendre en considération à la fois des éléments que l'on peut considérer comme exogènes à l'entreprise — tels que les taux de change et les coûts de production — et, dans une certaine mesure, des aspects qui résultent de leurs comportements — la fixation de leurs marges et leurs objectifs de parts de marché en particulier. Les évolutions nominales observées depuis quelques années sont trop disparates pour que l'on puisse en induire les modifications des positions concurrentielles. Cet article propose une formalisation simple de la détermination des prix sur des marchés imparfaitement concurrentiels et géographiquement cloisonnés, caractéristiques qui semblent correspondre aux échanges commerciaux de bon nombre de produits manufacturés. Dans ce cadre d'hypothèses les entreprises réagissent aux variations de coûts ou de change à la fois en modifiant leurs marges et en enregistrant des gains ou pertes de parts de marché. Par ailleurs cette étude présente un nouvel indicateur du taux de change effectif réel du dollar et de trois grandes monnaies européennes, le franc, le mark et la lire. La comparaison de cet indicateur avec ceux qui sont couramment utilisés conduit à moduler sensiblement le jugement porté sur les mouvements réels de ces monnaies. Enfin la mise en parallèle des évolutions de plusieurs mesures complémentaires des positions concurrentielles et des modifications du partage du marché américain et des taux de couverture manufacturiers des pays étudiés révèle l'intérêt, mais aussi les limites, de la démarche adoptée.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Observations et diagnostics économiques : revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): 20 (1987)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 149-187

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rvofce:ofce_0751-6614_1987_num_20_1_1104
Note: DOI:10.3406/ofce.1987.1104
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  1. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1987. "Exchange Rates and Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 93-106, March.
  2. Philippe Bacchetta & Martin Feldstein, 1987. "How Far Has the Dollar Fallen?," NBER Working Papers 2122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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