IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Pricing to Firm: An Analysis of Firm- and Product-Level Import Prices


  • Halpern, László
  • Koren, Miklós


We use Hungarian Customs data on product-level imports and exports of manufacturing firms to document that the import price of a particular product varies substantially across buying firms. Importantly, we can relate the level of import prices to firm characteristics such as size, foreign ownership and market power. We develop a theory of ‘pricing to firm’ (PTF), where markups depend on the technology and competitive environment of the buyer. The predictions of the model are confirmed by the data: import prices are higher for firms with greater market power, and for intermediate inputs with a high share in material costs. We take account of the endogeneity of the buyer's market power with respect to higher import prices. We show that even if unobserved cost heterogeneity within product categories is substantial, it is uncorrelated with our variables of interest. The magnitude of PTF is big: the standard deviation of price predicted by PTF is 21.5%.

Suggested Citation

  • Halpern, László & Koren, Miklós, 2004. "Pricing to Firm: An Analysis of Firm- and Product-Level Import Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 4568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4568

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a Cross Section of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 207-230.
    2. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    3. Falk Armin & Kosfeld Michael, 2012. "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-36, September.
    4. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
    5. Stephen P. Jenkins & Lars Osberg, 2003. "Nobody to Play with?: The Implications of Leisure Coordination," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 368, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-781, August.
    7. Naci Mocan, 2008. "What Determines Corruption? International Evidence From Microdata," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 493-510, October.
    8. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    9. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 225-258, December.
    10. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    11. Sanjeev Gupta, 1998. "Does Corruption Affect Income Inequality and Poverty?," IMF Working Papers 98/76, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Prices, Plant Size, and Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 307-339.
    2. Mallick, Sushanta & Marques, Helena, 2012. "Pricing to market with trade liberalization: The role of market heterogeneity and product differentiation in India’s exports," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 310-336.
    3. Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2009. "How do different exporters react to exchange rate changes? Theory, empirics and aggregate implications," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00973027, HAL.
    4. Fabrice Defever, "undated". "Incomplete Contracts and the Impact of Globalization on Consumer Welfare," Discussion Papers 11/08, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    5. Laszlo Halpern & Miklos Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Import and Productivity," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0509, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    6. Mallick, Sushanta & Marques, Helena, 2010. "Data frequency and exchange rate pass-through: Evidence from India's exports," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 13-22, January.
    7. Pradyut Kumar Pyne & Saikat Sinha Roy, 2009. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through in India an Exploration with Sectoral Import Prices," DEGIT Conference Papers c014_038, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.

    More about this item


    import prices; price discrimination; pricing to firm;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4568. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.