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Missing Import Price Changes and Low Exchange Rate Pass-Through

  • 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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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, 2012. "Individual Price Adjustment along the Extensive Margin," NBER Working Papers 18213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christopher Gust & Sylvain Leduc & Robert Vigfusson, 2006. "Trade Integration, Competiton, and the Decline in Exchange-rate Pass-through," 2006 Meeting Papers 165, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Leif Danziger, 1998. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustment," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 83, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  5. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips Curve with an Ss Foundation," NBER Working Papers 11971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Gagnon, Etienne & Mandel, Benjamin R. & Vigfusson, Robert J., 2012. "Missing Import Price Changes and Low Exchange Rate Pass-Through," International Finance Discussion Papers 1040, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 12 Dec 2012.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.).
  12. 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.
  13. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Roberto Rigobon, 2007. "Currency Choice and Exchange Rate Pass-through," NBER Working Papers 13432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2007. "Product Creation and Destruction: Evidence and Price Implications," NBER Working Papers 13041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Neiman, Brent, 2010. "Stickiness, synchronization, and passthrough in intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 295-308, April.
  18. 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.
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