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One TV, One Price?

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  • Imbs, Jean
  • Mumtaz, Haroon
  • Ravn, Morten O
  • Rey, Hélène

Abstract

We use a unique dataset on television prices across European countries and regions to investigate the sources of differences in price levels. Our findings are as follows: (i) Quality is a crucial determinant of price differences. Even in an integrated economic zone as Europe, rich economies tend to consume higher quality goods. This effect accounts for the lion’s share of international price dispersion. (ii) Sizable international price differentials subsist even for the same television sets. The average bilateral price difference is as high as 80 euros, or 8% of the average TV price in our sample. (iii) EMU countries display lower price dispersion than non-EMU countries. (iv) Absolute price differentials and relative price volatility are positively correlated with exchange rate volatility, but not with conventional measures of transport costs. (v) Importantly we show brand premia are sizable. They differ markedly across borders, in a way that does not correlate with transport costs, nor exchange rate movements. Taken together, the evidence is consistent firms exploiting market power through brand values to price discriminate across borders.

Suggested Citation

  • Imbs, Jean & Mumtaz, Haroon & Ravn, Morten O & Rey, Hélène, 2009. "One TV, One Price?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7504, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7504
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    2. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Oleksandr Talavera, 2017. "Price Setting in Online Markets: Basic Facts, International Comparisons, and Cross-Border Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 249-282, January.
    3. Laurent Gobillon & François Charles Wolff & Patrice Guillotreau, 2013. "Evaluating the law of one price using micro panel data," PSE Working Papers halshs-00849075, HAL.
    4. Yin-Wong Cheung & Eiji Fujii, 2014. "The Penn effect within a country: evidence from Japan," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 1070-1089.
    5. Baxter, Marianne & Landry, Anthony, 2017. "IKEA: Product, pricing, and pass-through," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 507-520.
    6. Cagé, Julia & Rouzet, Dorothée, 2015. "Improving “national brands”: Reputation for quality and export promotion strategies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 274-290.
    7. Dmitry Kulikov, 2015. "Law of One Price in the euro area: an empirical investigation using Nielsen disaggregated price data," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2014-10, Bank of Estonia, revised 20 Jan 2015.
    8. Marina Glushenkova & Marios Zachariadis, 2014. "Law-of-One-Price Deviations Before and After the Euro: The case of Cyprus," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 8(2), pages 61-85, December.
    9. Beck, Günter W. & Kotz, Hans-Helmut & Zabelina, Natalia, 2016. "Prices and consumer purchasing preferences at the border: Evidence from a multi-country household scanner data set," CFS Working Paper Series 536, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    10. Miguel González-Maestre & Francisco Martínez-Sánchez, 2015. "Quality choice and advertising regulation in broadcasting markets," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 107-126, March.
    11. Martin Falk, 2011. "International Price Differences in Ski Lift Tickets," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(III), pages 303-336, September.
    12. Bhattarai, Keshab & Mallick, Sushanta, 2013. "Impact of China's currency valuation and labour cost on the US in a trade and exchange rate model," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 40-59.
    13. Zhang, Qi, 2017. "The Balassa–Samuelson relationship: Services, manufacturing and product quality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 55-82.
    14. Fischer, Christoph, 2012. "Price convergence in the EMU? Evidence from micro data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 757-776.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    border effects; brand perception; international and regional price differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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