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Product Quality and International Price Dynamics

Author

Listed:
  • Marta Arespa

    () (Universitat de Barcelona)

  • Diego Gruber

    (Kernel Analytics)

Abstract

Two puzzling facts of international real business cycles are 1) weak or negative correlations between the terms of trade and output, and 2) a rise in relative consumption for countries where national goods become relatively more expensive. We show these puzzles either vanish or become much weaker in recent data. We propose a new mechanism that generates endogenous international price movements that are consistent with both the "old" and the "new" facts. In this mechanism, firms operating in a monopolistically competitive environment adjust price and quality of their products in response to technological shocks. This model is consistent with the old facts if price levels are not adjusted for quality. Instead, if quality adjustments to price level are introduced, the model's properties are in line with the new facts.

Suggested Citation

  • Marta Arespa & Diego Gruber, 2016. "Product Quality and International Price Dynamics," UB Economics Working Papers 2016/340, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ewp:wpaper:340web
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Backus, David K. & Crucini, Mario J., 2000. "Oil prices and the terms of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 185-213, February.
    2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola & Sylvain Leduc, 2008. "International Risk Sharing and the Transmission of Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 443-473.
    3. Baxter, Marianne & Crucini, Mario J, 1995. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(4), pages 821-854, November.
    4. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-775, August.
    5. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Financial autarky and international business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 601-627, April.
    6. Federico Mandelman & Pau Rabanal & Juan Francisco Rubio-Ramirez & Diego Vilan, 2011. "Investment Specific Technology Shocks and International Business Cycles: An Empirical Assessment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 136-155, January.
    7. Backus, David K. & Smith, Gregor W., 1993. "Consumption and real exchange rates in dynamic economies with non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 297-316, November.
    8. Raffo, Andrea, 2008. "Net exports, consumption volatility and international business cycle models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 14-29, May.
    9. Stockman, Alan C & Tesar, Linda L, 1995. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 168-185, March.
    10. David Wasshausen & Brent R. Moulton, 2006. "The Role of Hedonic Methods in Measuring Real GDP in the United States," BEA Papers 0067, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    11. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
    12. Felix Reichling & Charles Whalen, 2012. "Review of Estimates of the Frisch Elasticity of Labor Supply: Working Paper 2012-13," Working Papers 43676, Congressional Budget Office.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Quality; International Real Business Cycle; Ba kus- Smith puzzle; Hedoni Prices.;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles

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