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Entry dynamics and the decline in exchange-rate pass-through

  • Christopher J. Gust
  • Sylvain Leduc
  • Robert J. Vigfusson

The degree of exchange-rate pass-through to import prices is low. An average pass-through estimate for the 1980s would be roughly 50 percent for the United States implying that, following a 10 percent depreciation of the dollar, a foreign exporter selling to the U.S. market would raise its price in the United States by 5 percent. Moreover, substantial evidence indicates that the degree of pass-through has since declined to about 30 percent. ; Gust, Leduc, and Vigfusson (2010) demonstrate that, in the presence of pricing complementarity, trade integration spurred by lower costs for importers can account for a significant portion of the decline in pass-through. In our framework, pass-through declines solely because of markup adjustments along the intensive margin. ; In this paper, we model how the entry and exit decisions of exporting firms affect pass-through. This is particularly important since the decline in pass-through has occurred as a greater concentration of foreign firms are exporting to the United States. ; We find that the effect of entry on pass-through is quantitatively small and is more than offset by the adjustment of markups that arise only along the intensive margin. Even though entry has a relatively small impact on pass-through, it nevertheless plays an important role in accounting for the secular rise in imports relative to GDP. In particular, our model suggests that over 3/4 of the rise in the U.S. import share since the early 1980s is due to trade in new goods. Thus, a key insight of this paper is that adjustment of markups that occur along the intensive margin are quantitatively more important in accounting for secular changes in pass-through than adjustments that occur along the extensive margin.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 1008.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1008
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