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Import prices and the competing goods effect

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  • Phillip Swagel

Abstract

I use disaggregated U.S. data from 1978 to 1988 to examine the impact of changes in the prices of imported manufactured goods on corresponding domestic prices--the "competing goods effect." I use an econometric specification which allows for product differentiation between domestic and imported goods, and provides measures of exchange rate pass-through and economies of scale. ; I find that the impact of import prices on domestic prices varies substantially by industry, with statistically significant effects in nine of nineteen two-digit SIC manufacturing categoric:s. However, even where the effects are statistically significant, they are typically small in economic terms. On the whole, I do not find support for the anecdotal evidence that firms in US manufacturing industries take advantage of the reduced competitive discipline of higher ilnport prices. Because import prices are not a substantial determinant of domestic prices in the U.S., this implies that the consequent danger of imported inflation is small.>

Suggested Citation

  • Phillip Swagel, 1995. "Import prices and the competing goods effect," International Finance Discussion Papers 508, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:508
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Knetter, Michael M, 1989. "Price Discrimination by U.S. and German Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 198-210, March.
    2. Giovannini, Alberto, 1988. "Exchange rates and traded goods prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 45-68, February.
    3. Feenstra, Robert C., 1989. "Symmetric pass-through of tariffs and exchange rates under imperfect competition: An empirical test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 25-45, August.
    4. Feinberg, Robert M., 1996. "A simultaneous analysis of exchange-rate passthrough into prices of imperfectly substitutable domestic and import goods," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 407-416.
    5. Marston, Richard C., 1990. "Pricing to market in Japanese manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 217-236, November.
    6. Knetter, Michael M, 1994. "Did the Strong Dollar Increase Competition in U.S. Product Markets?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 192-195, February.
    7. Froot, Kenneth A & Klemperer, Paul D, 1989. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through When Market Share Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 637-654, September.
    8. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
    9. Peter Hooper & Catherine L. Mann, 1989. "Exchange Rate Pass-through in the 1980s: The Case of U.S. Imports of Manufactures," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 297-337.
    10. Krishna, Kala, 1989. "Trade restrictions as facilitating practices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 251-270, May.
    11. Feenstra, Robert C. & Gagnon, Joseph E. & Knetter, Michael M., 1996. "Market share and exchange rate pass-through in world automobile trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 187-207.
    12. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
    13. Catherine J. Morrison, 1990. "Market Power, Economic Profitability and Productivity Growth Measurement: An Integrated Structural Approach," NBER Working Papers 3355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Basu, S.: Fernald, J.G., 1993. "Constant Returns and Small Markups in U.S. Manufacturing," Papers 93-19, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    15. Avinash Dixit, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-228.
    16. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:24:y:1993:i:1993-2m:p:161-226 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Fisher, Eric, 1989. "A model of exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 119-137, February.
    18. Paul R. Krugman & Richard E. Baldwin, 1987. "The Persistence of the U.S. Trade Deficit," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(1), pages 1-56.
    19. Catherine L. Mann, 1986. "Prices, profit margins, and exchange rates," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 366-379.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Feinberg, Robert M., 1996. "A simultaneous analysis of exchange-rate passthrough into prices of imperfectly substitutable domestic and import goods," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 407-416.
    2. Scott Bradford, 2000. "Rents, Votes, and Protection: Explaining the Structure of Trade Barriers Across Industries," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1717, Econometric Society.
    3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2004. "The Response of Hours to a Technology Shock: Evidence Based on Direct Measures of Technology," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, pages 381-395.
    4. Gordhan K. Saini, 2009. "Non-Tariff Measures and Indian Textiles and Clothing Exports," Trade Working Papers 22407, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    5. Gordhan K. Saini, 2009. "Non-tariff measures and Indian textiles and clothing exports," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2009-002, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    6. Dekle, Robert, 1998. "The yen and Japanese manufacturing employment," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 785-801, October.

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    Keywords

    Imports ; Prices;

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