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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. 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.
  2. Glick, Reuven & Guo, Xueyan & Hutchison, Michael M., 2004. "Currency Crises, Capital Account Liberalization, and Selection Bias," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt12t6x2ht, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. Glick, Reuven & Rose, Andrew K., 2002. "Does a currency union affect trade? The time-series evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1125-1151, June.
  4. Crucini, Mario J. & Shintani, Mototsugu, 2008. "Persistence in law of one price deviations: Evidence from micro-data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 629-644, April.
  5. Lothian, James R., 2006. "Institutions, capital flows and financial integration," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 358-369, April.
  6. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 10480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.).
  8. Mario Crucini & Chris Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2005. "Price Dispersion: The Role of Distance, Borders and Location," 2005 Meeting Papers 767, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  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. Paul R. Bergin & Reuven Glick, 2005. "Tradability, productivity, and understanding international economic integration," Working Paper Series 2005-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. 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.
  12. David Parsley Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Currency Arrangements And Goods Market Integration: A Price Based Approach," International Finance 0211004, EconWPA.
  13. David Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2012. "Time as a Trade Barrier," NBER Working Papers 17758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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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