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Why do Consumer Prices React Less than Import Prices to Exchange Rates?

  • Bacchetta, Philippe
  • van Wincoop, Eric

It is well known that the extent of pass-through of exchange rate changes to consumer prices is much lower than to import prices. One explanation is local distribution costs. Here we consider an alternative, complementary explanation based on the optimal pricing strategies of firms. We consider a model where foreign exporting firms sell intermediate goods to domestic firms. Domestic firms assemble the imported intermediate goods and sell final goods to consumers. When domestic firms face significant competition from other domestic final goods producing sectors (e.g., the non-traded goods sector) we show that they prefer to price in domestic currency, while exporting firms tend to price in the exporter's currency. In that case the pass-through to import prices is complete, while the pass-through to consumer prices is zero.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3702.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3702
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  1. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "Nominal income targeting in an open-economy optimizing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 553-578, June.
  2. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2002. "Macroeconomics of international price discrimination," Working Paper Series 0176, European Central Bank.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1999. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," NBER Working Papers 7313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," NBER Working Papers 4693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2002. "Why Are Rates of Inflation So Low After Large Devaluations?," NBER Working Papers 8748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Eric van Wincoop & Philippe Bacchetta, 2000. "Does Exchange-Rate Stability Increase Trade and Welfare?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1093-1109, December.
  8. Devereux, Michael B & Engel, Charles M & Storgaard, Peter Ejler, 2002. "Endogenous Exchange Rate Pass-Through When Nominal Prices Are Set in Advance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3608, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  10. Campa, Jose M. & Goldberg, Linda S., 2002. "Exchange rate pass-through into import prices: A macro or micro phenomenon?," IESE Research Papers D/475, IESE Business School.
  11. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2002. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Betts, Caroline & Devereux, Michael B., 1996. "The exchange rate in a model of pricing-to-market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1007-1021, April.
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