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The International Elasticity Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think

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  • Lionel Fontagné
  • Philippe Martin
  • Gianluca Orefice

Abstract

We estimate three international price elasticities using exporters data: the elasticity of firm exports to export price, tariff and real exchange rate shocks. In standard trade and international macroeconomics models these three elasticities should be equal. We find that this is far from being the case. We use French firm level electricity costs to instrument for export prices and provide a first estimate of the elasticity of firm-level exports to export prices. The elasticity of exports is highest, around 5, for export prices followed by tariffs, around 2, and is lowest for the real exchange rate, around 0.6. The large discrepancy between these elasticities makes us conclude that the international elasticity puzzle is actually worse than previously thought. Moreover, we show that because exporters absorb part of tariffs and exchange rate movements, estimates of export elasticities that do not take into account export prices are biased.

Suggested Citation

  • Lionel Fontagné & Philippe Martin & Gianluca Orefice, 2017. "The International Elasticity Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think," Working Papers 2017-03, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2017-03
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Elasticity; International Trade and Macroeconomics; Export Price; Firm exports;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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