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A theory of the currency denomination of international trade

  • Bacchetta, Philippe
  • Van Wincoop, Eric

Nominal rigidities due to menu costs have become a standard element in closed economy macroeconomic modelling. The 'New Open Economy Macroeconomics' literature has investigated the implications of nominal rigidities in an open economy context and found that the currency in which prices are set has significant macroeconomic and policy implications. In this paper we solve for the optimal invoicing choice by integrating this micoeconomic decision at the firm level into a general equilibrium open economy model. Strategic interactions between firms play a critical role in the analysis. We find that the less competition firms face in foreign markets, as reflected in market share and product differentiation, the more likely they will price in their own currency. We also show that when a set of countries forms a monetary union, the new currency is likely to be used more extensively in trade than the sum of the currencies it replaces. JEL Classification: F31, F41

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0177.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20020177
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  8. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1999. "Deviations from Purchasing Power Parity:Causes and Welfare Costs," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0038, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  9. Friberg, Richard, 1998. "In which currency should exporters set their prices?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 59-76, June.
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  13. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Trade Flows, Prices, and The Exchange Rate Regime," Working Papers 00.11, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
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  18. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2001. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt6796n8s0, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  20. Charles Engel, 2002. "Expenditure Switching and Exchange Rate Policy," NBER Working Papers 9016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. 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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  41. Hummels, David, 1999. "Toward a Geography of Trade Costs," GTAP Working Papers 1162, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
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