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One TV, One Price?

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

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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7504.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7504
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  1. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Roberto Rigobon, 2010. "Currency Choice and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 304-36, March.
  2. Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1994. "Pricing in International Markets: Lessons From The Economist," NBER Working Papers 4806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gita Gopinath & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Nicholas Li, 2009. "Estimating the Border Effect: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Crucini, Mario J. & Shintani, Mototsugu, 2008. "Persistence in law of one price deviations: Evidence from micro-data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 629-644, April.
  5. Campa, José Manuel & Goldberg, Linda S., 2006. "Distribution Margins, Imported Inputs and the Insensitivity of the CPI to Exchange Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 5650, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Carlos Carvalho & Fernanda Nechio, 2011. "Aggregation and the PPP Puzzle in a Sticky-Price Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2391-2424, October.
  7. Parsley, David C. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Explaining the border effect: the role of exchange rate variability, shipping costs, and geography," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 87-105, October.
  8. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "Border Effect or Country Effect? Seattle May Not Be So Far from Vancouver After All," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 219-41, January.
  9. Marcus Asplund & Richard Friberg, 2001. "The Law of One Price in Scandinavian Duty-Free Stores," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1072-1083, September.
  10. Mario Crucini & Chris Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, . "Understanding European Real Exchange Rates," GSIA Working Papers 227, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  11. Jean Imbs & Haroon Mumtaz & Morten O. Ravn & Helene Rey, 2003. "PPP Strikes Back: Aggregation and the Real Exchange Rate," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0307, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  12. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price Without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 675-727, May.
  14. Haskel, Jonathan & Wolf, Holger C, 1999. "Why Does the 'Law of One Price' Fail? A Case Study," CEPR Discussion Papers 2187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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