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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. Pete Klenow & Ben Malin & Mark Bils, 2010. "Reset Price Inflation and the Impact of Monetary Policy Shocks," 2010 Meeting Papers 1079, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Gita Gopinath & Roberto Rigobon, 2008. "Sticky Borders," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 531-575, 05.
  3. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2007. "A framework for identifying the sources of local currency price stability with an empirical application," Staff Reports 287, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2009. "How do Different Exporters React to Exchange Rate Changes? Theory, Empirics and Aggregate Implications," Working Papers 2009-32, CEPII research center.
  5. Richard Pomfret & Patricia Sourdin, 2008. "Why Do Trade Costs Vary?," School of Economics Working Papers 2008-08, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  6. Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Hellwig, Christian, 2007. "Prices and Market Shares in a Menu Cost Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 6504, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gita Gopinath & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Nicholas Li, 2009. "Estimating the Border Effect: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Susanto Basu, 1994. "Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 4817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2009. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," NBER Working Papers 15255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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