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Estimating the border effect: some new evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Gita Gopinath
  • Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas
  • Chang-Tai Hsieh
  • Nicholas Li

Abstract

To what extent do national borders and national currencies impose costs that segment markets across countries? To answer this question the authors use a dataset with product-level retail prices and wholesale costs for a large grocery chain with stores in the United States and Canada. They develop a model of pricing by location and employ a regression discontinuity approach to estimate and interpret the border effect. They report three main facts: One, the median absolute retail price and wholesale cost discontinuities between adjacent stores on either side of the U.S.-Canadian border are as high as 21 percent. In contrast, within-country border discontinuity is close to 0 percent. Two, the variation in the retail price gap at the border is almost entirely driven by variation in wholesale costs, not by variation in markups. Three, the border gaps in prices and costs co-move almost one-to-one with changes in the U.S.-Canadian nominal exchange rate. They show these facts suggest that the price gaps they estimate provide only a lower bound on border costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Gita Gopinath & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Nicholas Li, 2009. "Estimating the border effect: some new evidence," Working Papers 09-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:09-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Estimating the border effect: some new evidence
      by Martin Berka in NEP-OPM blog on 2009-10-19 02:04:17

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean M. Imbs & Haroon Mumtaz & Morten O. Ravn & Hélène Rey, 2010. "One TV, One Price?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 753-781, December.
    2. Georg H. Strasser, 2010. "The Efficiency of the Global Markets for Final Goods and Productive Capabilities," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 766, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2012.
    3. Aker, Jenny C. & Klein, Michael W. & O'Connell, Stephen A. & Yang, Muzhe, 2014. "Borders, ethnicity and trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-16.
    4. Charles Engel, 2010. "Exchange rate policies," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), The international financial crisis and policy challenges in Asia and the Pacific, volume 52, pages 229-250 Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Luis Garicano & Luis Rayo, 2016. "Why Organizations Fail: Models and Cases," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 137-192, March.
    6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10221 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2011. "In Search of Real Rigidities," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25, pages 261-309 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. Jenny C. Aker & Michael W. Klein & Stephen A. O'Connell, 2015. "International and Intranational Market Segmentation and Integration in West Africa," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume IV: Sustainable Growth, pages 179-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Klenow, Peter J. & Malin, Benjamin A., 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 6, pages 231-284 Elsevier.
    11. Kei-Mu Yi, 2010. "Can Multistage Production Explain the Home Bias in Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 364-393, March.
    12. Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2012. "How wide is the border across U.S. states?," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 25-31, March.
    13. Jean Boivin & Robert Clark & Nicolas Vincent, 2010. "Virtual Borders: Online Nominal Rigidities and International Market Segmentation," NBER Working Papers 15642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. repec:hrv:faseco:30703806 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Michel De Vroey, 2010. "Getting rid of Keynes ? A survey of the history of macroeconomics from Keynes to Lucas and beyond," Working Paper Research 187, National Bank of Belgium.
    16. Adam, Antonis & Moutos, Thomas, 2014. "Do capital importing countries pay higher prices for their imports of goods?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 95-108.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prices ; Price indexes ; Wholesale price indexes ; Retail trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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