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In search of real rigidities

  • Gita Gopinath
  • Oleg Itskhoki

The closed and open economy literatures both work on evaluating the role of real rigidities, but in parallel. This paper brings the two literatures together. We use international price data and exchange rate shocks to evaluate the importance of real rigidities in price setting. We show that, consistent with the presence of real rigidities, the response of reset-price inflation to exchange rate shocks exhibits significant persistence. Individual import prices, conditional on changing, respond to exchange rate shocks prior to the last price change. At the same time, aggregate reset-price inflation for imports, like that for consumer prices, exhibits little persistence. Competitor prices affect firm pricing, and exchange rate pass-through into import prices is greater in response to trade-weighted, as opposed to bilateral, exchange rate shocks. We quantitatively evaluate sticky-price models (Calvo and menu cost) with variable markups at the wholesale level and constant markups at the retail level, consistent with empirical evidence. Variable markups alone generate price sluggishness at the aggregate level, while they fall short of matching price persistence at the micro level. Finally, variable markups magnify the size of the contract multiplier, but their absolute effects are modest unless they are coupled with exogenous sources of persistence.

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File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2010/wp1009.htm
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File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2010/wp1009.htm
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 10-9.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:10-9
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  1. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2008. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-through," NBER Working Papers 14200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 8290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kimball, Miles S, 1995. "The Quantitative Analytics of the Basic Neomonetarist Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1241-77, November.
  4. Linda S. Goldberg & José Manuel Campa, 2006. "Distribution Margins, Imported Inputs, and the Sensitivity of the CPI to Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 12121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 35-65, 02.
  8. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2009. "Reset Price Inflation and the Impact of Monetary Policy Shocks," NBER Working Papers 14787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Susanto Basu, 1994. "Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 4817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2010. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1192-1230.
  11. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  12. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
  13. Berman, Nicolas & Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry, 2009. "How do different exporters react to exchange rate changes? Theory, empirics and aggregate implications," CEPR Discussion Papers 7493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Peter J. Klenow & Jonathan L. Willis, 2006. "Real rigidities and nominal price changes," Research Working Paper RWP 06-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  15. Richard Pomfret & Patricia Sourdin, 2008. "Why Do Trade Costs Vary?," School of Economics Working Papers 2008-08, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  16. Christian Hellwig & Ariel Burstein, 2007. "Prices and Market Shares in a Menu Cost Model," 2007 Meeting Papers 327, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. 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.
  18. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1998. "Sticky price models of the business cycle: can the contract multiplier solve the persistence problem?," Staff Report 217, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Linda S. Goldberg & José Manuel Campa, 2010. "The Sensitivity of the CPI to Exchange Rates: Distribution Margins, Imported Inputs, and Trade Exposure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 392-407, May.
  20. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1987. "Exchange Rates and Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 93-106, March.
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