How to Explain the High Prices in Switzerland?
This article challenges the view that a lack of competition and a high level of regulations are the main causes of Switzerland's high prices. First, we point out a number of stylized facts which are inconsistent with this popular view. Second, we econometrically asses the "competition-regulation hypothesis" together with the well-established determinants from the real exchange rate literature in a panel of 22 OECD countries from 1970 to 2004. We find that changes in the terms of trade and the degree of openness, and to a minor extent in government expenditures and the current account, explain the movements in the Swiss real exchange rate reasonably well over the last 35 years. Changes in regulations and competition as well as in relative productivities perform poorly as explanatory variables.
Volume (Year): 145 (2009)
Issue (Month): IV (December)
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- Kugler, Peter & Weder di Mauro, Beatrice, 2005. "Why Are Returns on Swiss Franc Assets So Low? Rare Events May Solve the Puzzle," CEPR Discussion Papers 5181, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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CEPR Discussion Papers
4467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Peter Kugler & Beatrice Weder, 2004. "International Portfolio Holdings and Swiss Franc Asset Returns," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(III), pages 301-325, September.
- Peter Kugler & Beatrice Weder, 2004. "International Portfolio Holdings and Swiss Franc Asset Returns," Working papers 2004/08, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
- Hsieh, David A., 1982. "The determination of the real exchange rate : The productivity approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3-4), pages 355-362, May.
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IMF Working Papers
01/56, International Monetary Fund.
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- Broeck, Mark De & Sløk, Torsten, 2001. "Interpreting real exchange rate movements in transition countries," BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2001, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
- Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
- Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
- Kohli, Ulrich, 2004. "Real GDP, real domestic income, and terms-of-trade changes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 83-106, January.
- Sanyal, Kalyan K & Jones, Ronald W, 1982. "The Theory of Trade in Middle Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 16-31, March.
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