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Global price dispersion: are prices converging or diverging?

  • Paul R. Bergin
  • Reuven Glick

This paper documents significant time-variation in the degree of global price convergence over the last two decades. In particular, there appears to be a general U-shaped pattern with price dispersion first falling and then rising in recent years, a pattern which is remarkably robust across country groupings and commodity groups. This time-variation is difficult to explain in terms of the standard gravity equation variables common in the literature, as these tend not to vary much over time or have not risen in recent years. However, regression analysis indicates that this time-varying pattern coincides well with oil price fluctuations, which are clearly time-varying and have risen substantially since the late 1990s. As a result, this paper offers new evidence on the role of transportation costs in driving international price dispersion.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006-50.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2006-50
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  1. David L. Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2013. "Time as a Trade Barrier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2935-59, December.
  2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  3. Mario J. Crucini & Mototsugu Shintani, 2006. "Persistence in Law-Of-One-Price Deviations: Evidence from Micro-Data," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0616, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  4. Paul R. Bergin & Reuven Glick, 2005. "Tradability, Productivity, and Understanding International Economic Integration," NBER Working Papers 11637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Reuven Glick & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Does a currency union affect trade? the time series evidence," Working Paper Series 2001-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers & Shing-Yi B. Wang, 2003. "Revisiting the Border: an assessment of the law of one price using very disaggregated consumer price data," International Finance Discussion Papers 777, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Mario Crucini & Chris Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2003. "Price dispersion: The role of distance, borders and location," GSIA Working Papers 2004-E25, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  8. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2004. "European product market integration after the euro," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(39), pages 347-384, 07.
  9. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  10. Reuven Glick & Xueyan Guo & Michael Hutchison, 2005. "Currency crises, capital account liberalization, and selection bias," Working Paper Series 2004-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. David Parsley Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Currency Arrangements And Goods Market Integration: A Price Based Approach," International Finance 0211004, EconWPA.
  12. Lothian, James R., 2006. "Institutions, capital flows and financial integration," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 358-369, April.
  13. Mario J. Crucini & Chris I. Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2001. "Understanding European Real Exchange Rates," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0120, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  14. Hummels, David, 1999. "Toward a Geography of Trade Costs," GTAP Working Papers 1162, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
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