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International Shocks and Domestic Prices: How Large Are Strategic Complementarities?

Author

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  • Amiti, Mary
  • Itskhoki, Oleg
  • Konings, Jozef

Abstract

How strong are strategic complementarities in price setting across firms? In this paper, we provide a direct empirical estimate of firm price responses to changes in prices of their competitors. We develop a general framework and an empirical identification strategy to estimate the elasticities of a firm’s price response to both its own cost shocks and to the price changes of its competitors. Our approach takes advantage of a new micro-level dataset for the Belgian manufacturing sector, which contains detailed information on firm domestic prices, marginal costs, and competitor prices. The rare features of these data enable us to construct instrumental variables to address the simultaneity of price setting by competing firms. We find strong evidence of strategic complementarities, with a typical firm adjusting its price with an elasticity of 35% in response to the price changes of its competitors and with an elasticity of 65% in response to its own cost shocks. Furthermore, we find substantial heterogeneity in these elasticities across firms, with small firms showing no strategic complementarities and a complete cost pass-through, while large firms responding to their cost shocks and competitor price changes with roughly equal elasticities of around 50%. We show, using a tightly calibrated quantitative model, that these findings have important implications for shaping the response of domestic prices to international shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Amiti, Mary & Itskhoki, Oleg & Konings, Jozef, 2016. "International Shocks and Domestic Prices: How Large Are Strategic Complementarities?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11182, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11182
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jacques-Francois Thisse & Philip Ushchev, 2016. "Monopolistic Competition Without Apology," HSE Working papers WP BRP 141/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Parenti, Mathieu & Ushchev, Philip & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2017. "Toward a theory of monopolistic competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 86-115.
    3. Andrea Ariu & Florian Mayneris & Mathieu Parenti, 2018. "One way to the top : How services boost the demand for goods," Working Paper Research 340, National Bank of Belgium.
    4. A. Berthou & G. Horny & J-S. Mésonnier, 2018. "Dollar Funding and Firm-Level Exports," Working papers 666, Banque de France.
    5. Devereux, Michael B. & Dong, Wei & Tomlin, Ben, 2017. "Importers and exporters in exchange rate pass-through and currency invoicing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 187-204.
    6. Ushchev, Philip & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Price competition in product variety networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 226-247.
    7. Alberto Bucci & Philip Ushchev, 2016. "Specialization vs Competition: An Anatomy of Increasing Returns to Scale," HSE Working papers WP BRP 134/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    8. Pennings, Steven, 2017. "Pass-through of competitors' exchange rates to US import and producer prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 41-56.
    9. repec:bfr:rueban:2018:62 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Oleg Itskhoki & Dmitry Mukhin, 2017. "Exchange Rate Disconnect in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 23401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:cje:issued:v:50:y:2017:i:5:p:1414-1444 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Keith Head & Barbara J. Spencer, 2017. "Oligopoly in international trade: Rise, fall and resurgence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1414-1444, December.
    13. Forbes, Kristin & Hjortsoe, Ida & Nenova, Tsvetelina, 2017. "Shocks versus structure: explaining differences in exchange rate pass-through across countries and time," Discussion Papers 50, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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