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Imperfect Exchange Rate Passthrough: Strategic Pricing and Menu Costs

  • Atish Ghosh
  • Holger Wolf

A large body of literature finds that exporters do not pass nominal exchange rate movements fully through to destination market prices over short time horizons. This imperfect passthrough has been widely attributed to strategic “pricing-to-market”, whereby exporters deliberately accept changes in the home currency value of export prices in order to gain or defend market share. We show that imperfect passthrough in the short run may also arise from simple menu costs. In contrast to strategic pricing, however, the long run passthrough is complete under menu costs — with associated implications for trade adjustment. Examining the cover prices of two magazines, The Economist and Business Week, we find support for menu costs as a partial explanation of imperfect passthrough.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 436.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_436
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  1. Knetter, Michael M., 1994. "Is export price adjustment asymmetric?: evaluating the market share and marketing bottlenecks hypotheses," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 55-70, February.
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  17. Delgado, Francisco A., 1991. "Hysteresis, menu costs, and pricing with random exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 461-484, December.
  18. Benabou, Roland, 1988. "Search, Price Setting and Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 353-76, July.
  19. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
  20. Varian, Hal R., 1989. "Price discrimination," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 597-654 Elsevier.
  21. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
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