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A Theory of Currency Denomination of International Trade


  • Bacchetta, Philippe
  • van Wincoop, Eric


Nominal rigidities due to menu costs have become a standard element in closed economy macroeconomic modelling. The ‘New Open Economy Macroeconomics’ literature has investigated the implications of nominal rigidities in an open economy context and found that the currency in which prices are set has significant implications for exchange rate pass-through to import prices, the level of trade and net capital flows, and optimal monetary and exchange rate policy. While the literature has exogenously assumed in which currencies goods are priced, in this Paper we solve for the equilibrium optimal pricing strategies of firms. We find that the higher the market share of an exporting country in an industry, and the more differentiated its goods, the more likely its exporters will price in the exporter’s currency. Country size and the cyclicality of real wages play a role as well, but are empirically less important. We also show that when a set of countries forms a monetary union, the new currency is likely to be used more extensively in trade than the sum of the currencies it replaces.

Suggested Citation

  • Bacchetta, Philippe & van Wincoop, Eric, 2002. "A Theory of Currency Denomination of International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3120, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3120

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Goldberg, Linda S. & Tille, Cédric, 2008. "Vehicle currency use in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 177-192, December.
    2. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2005. "International dimensions of optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 281-305, March.
    3. Bacchetta, Philippe & van Wincoop, Eric, 2005. "A theory of the currency denomination of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 295-319, December.
    4. Campa, Jose M. & Goldberg, Linda S. & Gonzalez-Minguez, Jose M., 2005. "Exchange-rate pass-through to import prices in the euro area," IESE Research Papers D/609, IESE Business School.
    5. Brissimis, Sophocles N. & Kosma, Theodora, 2005. "Market power, innovative activity and exchange rate pass-through in the euro area," Working Paper Series 531, European Central Bank.
    6. Maertens Odria, Luís Ricardo & Castillo, Paul & Rodriguez, Gabriel, 2012. "Does the exchange rate pass-through into prices change when inflation targeting is adopted? The Peruvian case study between 1994 and 2007," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1154-1166.
    7. Lilia Cavallari, 2004. "Optimal monetary rules and internationalized production," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 175-186.
    8. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
    9. Devereux, Michael B. & Shi, Kang & Xu, Juanyi, 2007. "Global monetary policy under a dollar standard," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 113-132, March.
    10. Sutherland, Alan, 2005. "Incomplete pass-through and the welfare effects of exchange rate variability," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 375-399, March.
    11. Ayako Saiki, 2005. "Asymmetric Effect of Currency Union for Developing Countries," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 227-247, July.
    12. Charles Engel, 2006. "Equivalence Results for Optimal Pass-Through, Optimal Indexing to Exchange Rates, and Optimal Choice of Currency for Export Pricing," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1249-1260, December.
    13. Oi, Hiroyuki & Otani, Akira & Shirota, Toyoichiro, 2004. "The Choice of Invoice Currency in International Trade: Implications for the Internationalization of the Yen," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 22(1), pages 27-63, March.
    14. Berger, Wolfram, 2006. "The choice between fixed and flexible exchange rates: Which is best for a small open economy?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 371-385, May.
    15. Devereux, Michael B. & Engel, Charles & Storgaard, Peter E., 2004. "Endogenous exchange rate pass-through when nominal prices are set in advance," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 263-291, July.
    16. Tokhir Mirzoev, 2004. "A Dynamic Model of Endogenous Exchange Rate Pass-Through," International Finance 0409002, EconWPA.
    17. Barhoumi, Karim, 2006. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through and Structural Macroeconomic Shocks in Developing Countries: An Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 6573, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 Oct 2007.
    18. Otani, Akira & Shiratsuka, Shigenori & Shirota, Toyoichiro, 2003. "The Decline in the Exchange Rate Pass-Through: Evidence from Japanese Import Prices," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(3), pages 53-81, October.
    19. Alessandro Flamini, 2003. "CPI Inflation Targeting and Exchange Rate Pass-through," Macroeconomics 0306017, EconWPA.
    20. Rebecca Driver & Stephen Millard, 2004. "Exchange rates, commodities and the implications of volatility in a small open economy world," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 26, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    21. Kamps, Annette, 2006. "The euro as invoicing currency in international trade," Working Paper Series 665, European Central Bank.
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    More about this item


    currency invoicing; new open economy macroeconomics;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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