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What to expect of the euro? Analysing price differences of individual products in Luxembourg and its surrounding regions

  • Thomas Mathä


This paper uses individual supermarket prices and analyses to what extent absolute deviations from the law of one price are attributable to transaction costs. The results indicate that absolute percentage price differences are increasing in distance, but at a decreasing rate. Similarly, crossing borders increases price deviations, while being inside the former Belgian-Luxembourg monetary association has the opposite effect. This result nurtures the hopes that the euro may be able to reduce regional and cross-border price differences in the long term. Furthermore, larger differences in packaging sizes result in larger price deviations, while the opposite is the case for prices observed within the same retail group.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Luxembourg in its series BCL working papers with number 8.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as The Euro and Price Differences of Individual Products in an Integrated Cross-Border Area, in Journal of Common Market Studies, 2006, 44(3): 563-580.
Handle: RePEc:bcl:bclwop:bclwp008
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  1. 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.).
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  3. Parsley, David & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Limiting Currency Volatility to Stimulate Goods Market Integration: a Price-Based Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 2958, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
  9. Haskel, Jonathan & Wolf, Holger, 2001. " The Law of One Price--A Case Study," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 545-58, December.
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  11. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
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  13. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," International Finance Discussion Papers 498, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Froot, Kenneth A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Perspectives on PPP and long-run real exchange rates," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 1647-1688 Elsevier.
  15. Mario J. Crucini & Chris I. Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2001. "Understanding European Real Exchange Rates," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0120, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  16. Stephen Cecchetti & Nelson C. Mark & Robert Sonora, 1998. "Price Level Convergence Among United States Cities: Lessons for the European Central Bank," Working Papers 32, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  17. Marcus Asplund & Richard Friberg, 2001. "The Law of One Price in Scandinavian Duty-Free Stores," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1072-1083, September.
  18. Parsley, David C & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1211-36, November.
  19. John H. Rogers, 2001. "Price level convergence, relative prices, and inflation in Europe," International Finance Discussion Papers 699, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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