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Who Bears the Cost of a Change in the Exchange Rate?

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  • Rebecca Hellerstein

Abstract

Nominal exchange rates are remarkably volatile. They ordinarily appear disconnected from the fundamentals of the economies whose currencies they price. These facts make up a classic puzzle about the international economy. If prices do not respond fully to changes in the nominal exchange rate, who bears the cost of such large and unpredictable changes: foreign firms, domestic firms, or domestic consumers? This study develops a structural approach to analyze the welfare effects of a change in the nominal exchange rate using the example of the beer market. I estimate a structural econometric model that makes it possible to compute manufacturers’ and retailers’ pass-through of a nominal exchange-rate change without observing wholesale prices or firms’ marginal costs. I conduct counterfactual experiments to quantify how the change affects domestic and foreign firms’ profits and domestic consumer welfare. The counterfactual experiments show that foreign manufacturers bear more of the cost of a change in the nominal exchange rate than do domestic consumers, domestic manufacturers, or the domestic retailer. Following a 10-percent domesticcurrency depreciation, foreign manufacturers’ profits decline by 22 percent, domestic consumer surplus falls by 8 percent, the retailer’s profits fall by 5 percent, and domestic manufacturers’ profits increase by 1.7 percent. The model can be applied to other industries and can serve as a tool to assess the welfare effects of various exchange-rate policies

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca Hellerstein, 2004. "Who Bears the Cost of a Change in the Exchange Rate?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 589, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:589
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    File URL: http://repec.org/esNASM04/up.5121.1075605540.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stahn, Kerstin, 2009. "Changes in import pricing behaviour: the case of Germany," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,14, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2007. "Vertical Relationships between Manufacturers and Retailers: Inference with Limited Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 625-652.
    3. Tsui, Hsiao-Chien, 2008. "Exchange rate and pricing behavior: Comparison of Taiwan with Japan for manufacturing industries," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 290-301, March.
    4. Campa, Jose M. & Goldberg, Linda S. & Gonzalez-Minguez, Jose M., 2005. "Exchange-rate pass-through to import prices in the euro area," IESE Research Papers D/609, IESE Business School.
    5. Charles P. Thomas & Jaime R. Marquez, 2006. "Measurement matters for modeling U.S. import prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 883, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Morten Overgaard Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2010. "Incomplete Cost Pass-Through Under Deep Habits," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 317-332, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Elena Lopez & Rigoberto A. Lopez, 2009. "Demand for differentiated milk products: implications for price competition," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 453-465.
    9. Stahn Kerstin, 2011. "Changes in Import Pricing Behaviour: Evidence for Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(4), pages 522-545, August.
    10. Charles P. Thomas & Jaime Marquez, 2009. "Measurement matters for modelling US import prices This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 120-138.
    11. Villas-Boas, Sofia & Hellerstein, Rebecca, 2006. "Identification of supply models of retailer and manufacturer oligopoly pricing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 132-140, January.
    12. Murshed, Hasan & Nakibullah, Ashraf, 2015. "Price level and inflation in the GCC countries," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 239-252.
    13. Matteo Bugamelli & Roberto Tedeschi, 2008. "Pricing-to-Market and Market Structure," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(2), pages 155-180, April.
    14. repec:jns:jbstat:v:227:y:2007:i:3:p:295-329 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    exchange-rate pass-through: cross-border vertical contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission

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