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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, 1998. "Nominal Income Targeting in an Open-Economy Optimizing Model," Seminar Papers 644, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. 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.
  3. Giancarlo CORSETTI & Luca DEDOLA, 2003. "Macroeconomics of International Price Discrimination," Economics Working Papers ECO2003/20, European University Institute.
  4. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 624-60, June.
  5. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel & Peter E. Storgaard, 2002. "Endogenous Exchange Rate Pass-Through When Nominal Prices are Set in Advance," Working Papers 212002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  6. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2002. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "New directions for stochastic open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 117-153, February.
  8. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2002. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices: A Macro or Micro Phenomenon?," NBER Working Papers 8934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2002. "Why Are Rates of Inflation So Low After Large Devaluations?," RCER Working Papers 486, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  10. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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