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Borders and Big Macs

  • Landry, Anthony E.

I measure the extent of international market segmentation using local, national, and international Big Mac prices. I show that the bulk of time-series price volatility observed across the United States arises between neighboring locations. Using these data, I provide new estimates of border frictions for 14 countries. I find that borders generally introduce only small price wedges, far smaller than those observed across neighboring locations. When expressing these wedges in terms of distance equivalents, I find that border widths are small in relation to price variations observed across the United States. This suggests that international markets are well integrated.

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File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/institute/wpapers/2011/0095.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper with number 95.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:95
Note: Published as: Landry, Anthony (2013), "Borders and Big Mac," Economics Letters 120 (2): 318-322.
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dallasfed.org/
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  1. Gita Gopinath & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Nicholas Li, 2011. "International Prices, Costs, and Markup Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2450-86, October.
  2. Anthony E. Landry, 2008. "The Big Mac: a global-to-local look at pricing," Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, vol. 3(sep).
  3. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," International Finance Discussion Papers 498, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Marianne Baxter & Michael A. Kouparitsas, 2004. "Determinants of business cycle comovement: a robust analysis," Working Paper Series WP-04-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Michael R. Pakko & Patricia S. Pollard, 1996. "For here or to go? Purchasing power parity and the Big Mac," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 3-22.
  6. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "Border Effect or Country Effect? Seattle May Not Be So Far from Vancouver After All," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 219-41, January.
  7. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1999. "Deviations from Purchasing Power Parity:Causes and Welfare Costs," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0038, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  8. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Explaining the Border Effect: The Role of Exchange Rate Variability, Shipping Costs, and Geography," NBER Working Papers 7836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert E. Cumby, 1996. "Forecasting Exchange Rates and Relative Prices with the Hamburger Standard: Is What You Want What You Get With McParity?," NBER Working Papers 5675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Parsley, David & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2004. "A Prism into the PPP Puzzles: The Micro-Foundations of Big Mac Real Exchange Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 4486, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Landry, Anthony, 2013. "Borders and Big Macs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 318-322.
  12. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Understanding International Price Differences Using Barcode Data," NBER Working Papers 14017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Michael R. Pakko & Patricia S. Pollard, 2003. "Burgernomics: a big MacT guide to purchasing power parity," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 9-28.
  14. Ong, Li Lian, 1997. "Burgernomics: the economics of the Big Mac standard," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 865-878, December.
  15. Kehoe, Patrick, 2005. "Comment on: "Determinants of business cycle comovement: a robust analysis"," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 159-162, January.
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