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Missing Import Price Changes and Low Exchange Rate Pass-Through

Listed author(s):
  • Gagnon, Etienne
  • Mandel, Benjamin R.
  • Vigfusson, Robert J.

A large body of empirical work has found that exchange rate movements have only modest effects on inflation. However, the response of an import price index to exchange rate movements may be underestimated because some import price changes are missed when constructing the index. We investigate downward biases that arise when items experiencing a price change are especially likely to exit or to enter the index. We show that, in theoretical pricing models, entry and exit have different implications for the timing and size of these biases. Using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) microdata, we derive empirical bounds on the magnitude of these biases and construct alternative price indexes that are less subject to selection effects. Our analysis suggests that the biases induced by selective exits and entries do not materially alter the literature’s view that pass-through to U.S. import prices is low over the short to medium term horizons that are most useful for both forecasting and differentiating amongst economic models.

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File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/2012/1040/ifdp1040r.pdf
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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 1040.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision: 12 Dec 2012
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1040
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  1. Etienne Gagnon & David López-Salido & Nicolas Vincent, 2013. "Individual Price Adjustment along the Extensive Margin," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 235-281.
  2. Mark Bils, 2009. "Do Higher Prices for New Goods Reflect Quality Growth or Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 637-675.
  3. John S. Greenlees & Robert McClelland, 2011. "Does Quality Adjustment Matter for Technologically Stable Products? An Application to the CPI for Food," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 200-205, May.
  4. Berger, David & Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H. & Steverson, Kai, 2012. "Border prices and retail prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 62-73.
  5. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
  6. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Roberto Rigobon, 2010. "Currency Choice and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 304-336, March.
  7. Etienne Gagnon & Benjamin R. Mandel & Robert J. Vigfusson, 2014. "Missing Import Price Changes and Low Exchange Rate Pass-Through," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 156-206, April.
  8. José Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2005. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 679-690, November.
  9. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 675-727.
  10. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2008. "A Phillips Curve with an Ss Foundation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 533-572, 06.
  11. Leif Danziger, 1999. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 878-901, September.
  12. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2010. "Product Creation and Destruction: Evidence and Price Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 691-723, June.
  13. Henning Weber, 2012. "Product Replacement Bias in Inflation and Its Consequences for Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 255-299, 03.
  14. Marazzi, Mario & Sheets, Nathan, 2007. "Declining exchange rate pass-through to U.S. import prices: The potential role of global factors," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 924-947, October.
  15. Gust, Christopher & Leduc, Sylvain & Vigfusson, Robert, 2010. "Trade integration, competition, and the decline in exchange-rate pass-through," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 309-324, April.
  16. Mario Marazzi & Nathan Sheets & Robert J. Vigfusson & Jon Faust & Joseph E. Gagnon & Jaime R. Marquez & Robert F. Martin & Trevor A. Reeve & John H. Rogers, 2005. "Exchange rate pass-through to U.S. import prices: some new evidence," International Finance Discussion Papers 833, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. John S. Greenlees & Robert McClelland, 2011. "Does Quality Adjustment Matter for Technologically Stable Products? An Application to the CPI for Food," Working Papers 444, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  18. Neiman, Brent, 2010. "Stickiness, synchronization, and passthrough in intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 295-308, April.
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