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Income-Induced Expenditure Switching

Listed author(s):
  • Rudolfs Bems
  • Julian di Giovanni

This paper shows that an income effect can drive expenditure switching between domestic and imported goods. We use a unique Latvian scanner-level dataset, covering the 2008-09 crisis, to document several empirical findings. First, expenditure switching accounted for one-third of the fall in imports, and took place within narrowly-defined product groups. Second, there was no corresponding within-group change in relative prices. Third, consumers substituted from expensive imports to cheaper domestic alternatives. These findings motivate us to estimate a model of non-homothetic consumer demand, which explains two-thirds of the observed expenditure switching. Estimated switching is driven by income, not changes in relative prices.

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File URL: http://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/922.pdf
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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 922.

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Date of creation: Sep 2016
Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:922
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  1. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Ruhl, Kim J., 2009. "Sudden stops, sectoral reallocations, and the real exchange rate," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 235-249, July.
  2. Krugman, Paul, 1989. "Differences in income elasticities and trends in real exchange rates," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1031-1046, May.
  3. Ravn, Morten O. & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2008. "Macroeconomics Of Subsistence Points," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S1), pages 136-147, April.
  4. Martin Berka & Michael B. Devereux, 2010. "What determines European real exchange rates?," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 46, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  5. Olivier Blanchard & Mark Griffiths & Bertrand Gruss, 2013. "Boom, Bust, Recovery Forensics of the Latvia Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(2 (Fall)), pages 325-388.
  6. Piero Esposito & Claudio Vicarelli, 2011. "Explaining the Performance of Italian Exports during the Crisis: (Medium) Quality Matters," Working Papers LuissLab 11954, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  7. Goldberg, Linda S. & Campa, Jose M., 2006. "Distribution margins, imported inputs, and the insensitivity of the CPI to exchange rates," IESE Research Papers D/625, IESE Business School.
  8. Antoine Berthou & Charlotte Emlinger, 2010. "Crises and the Collapse of World Trade: the Shift to Lower Quality," Working Papers 2010-07, CEPII research center.
  9. Blackorby, Charles & Boyce, Richard & Russell, R Robert, 1978. "Estimation of Demand Systems Generated by the Gorman Polar Form: A Generalization of the S-Branch Utility Tree," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 345-363, March.
  10. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Gee Hee Hong, 2015. "The Cyclicality of Sales, Regular and Effective Prices: Business Cycle and Policy Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 993-1029, March.
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