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Benefits of Price Convergence: Speculative Calculations, The


  • Tony Warren
  • Gary Clyde Hufbauer

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Erika Wada

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)


Price divergence is readily apparent to anyone who shops. Travelers from Manchester to London, or from Chicago to Paris, are hit by sticker shock. Products ranging from London Fog raincoats to Viagra are available over the Internet at half their retail store prices. Common experience tells us that prices for identical products differ between countries, between cities, even between neighboring shops. On the other hand, common experience also tells us that open markets and greater competition will force a degree of price convergence, if not identical prices.This monograph presents speculative calculations that illustrate potential benefits from price convergence between countries. The authors take a fresh look at global economic integration by examining existing price divergence, and possible price convergence, across a range of consumer goods and then calculate the potential benefits of price convergence on a country-by-country basis and for the world as a whole. This study examines the potential benefits from price convergence resulting from more competition and market integration, not perfect competition and market integration. The authors calculate these benefits assuming that the world economy can attain the same degree of competition and market integration--and hence price convergence--as exists within the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Tony Warren & Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Erika Wada, 2002. "Benefits of Price Convergence: Speculative Calculations, The," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa65, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:piiepa:pa65 Note: Policy Analyses in International Economics 65

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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Cipollina & Luca Salvatici, 2008. "Measuring Protection: Mission Impossible?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 577-616, July.
    2. Anderson Michael A. & Schaefer Kurt C. & Smith Stephen L. S., 2013. "Can Price Dispersion Reveal Distance-Related Trade Costs? Evidence from the United States," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 151-173, June.
    3. Dean Judith M & Signoret José E & Feinberg Robert M. & Ludema Rodney D. & Ferrantino Michael J, 2009. "Estimating the Price Effects of Non-Tariff Barriers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-41, March.
    4. Yin-Wong Cheung & Jude Yuen, 2005. "The Suitability Of A Greater China Currency Union," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 83-103, February.
    5. John H. Rogers, 2002. "Monetary union, price level convergence, and inflation: how close is Europe to the United States?," International Finance Discussion Papers 740, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Moon, Woosik, 2013. "Cross-Border Price Differentials and Goods Market Integration in East Asia," ADBI Working Papers 426, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    7. Yin-Wong Cheung & Jude Yuen, 2004. "An Output Perspective on a Northeast Asia Currency Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 1250, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Syed A. Basher & Josep Lluis Carrión-i-Silvestre, 2008. "Price level convergence, purchasing power parity and multiple structural breaks: An application to US cities," Working Papers XREAP2008-08, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jul 2008.
    9. Romano, Donato, 2006. "Agriculture in the Age of Globalization," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25253, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. Michael Ferrantino, 2006. "Quantifying the Trade and Economic Effects of Non-Tariff Measures," OECD Trade Policy Papers 28, OECD Publishing.
    11. Rogers, John H., 2007. "Monetary union, price level convergence, and inflation: How close is Europe to the USA?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 785-796, April.

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