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U.S. real exchange rate fluctuations and relative price fluctuations

  • Caroline M. Betts
  • Timothy J. Kehoe

This paper studies the relation between the United States? bilateral real exchange rate and the associated bilateral relative price of nontraded goods for five of its most important trade relationships. Traditional theory attributes fluctuations in real exchange rates to changes in the relative price of nontraded goods. We find that this relation depends crucially on the choice of price series used to measure relative prices and on the choice of trade partner. The relation is stronger when we measure relative prices using producer prices rather than consumer prices. The relation is stronger the more important is the trade relationship between the United States and a trade partner. Even in cases where there is a strong relation between the real exchange rate and the relative price of nontraded goods, however, a large fraction of real exchange rate fluctuations is due to deviations from the law of one price for traded goods.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 334.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Monetary Economics> (Vol. 53, No. 7, October 2006, pp. 1297-1326)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:334
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  1. Alan C. Stockman & Linda L. Tesar, 1991. "Tastes and technology in a two-country model of the business cycle: explaining international co-movements," Working Paper 9019, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Working Papers 96-02, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  3. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," Research Working Paper 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  4. Charles Engel, 1992. "Real Exchange Rates and Relative Prices: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 4231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. de Cordoba, Gonzalo Fernandez & Kehoe, Timothy J., 2000. "Capital flows and real exchange rate fluctuations following Spain's entry into the European Community," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 49-78, June.
  6. V. V Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2002. "Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 533-563.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld, 2003. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," International Finance 0303006, EconWPA.
  8. Rogers, John H. & Jenkins, Michael, 1995. "Haircuts or hysteresis? Sources of movements in real exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 339-360, May.
  9. Haroon Mumtaz & Jean Imbs & Morten O. Ravn & Helene Rey, 2003. "PPP Strikes Back: Aggregation and the Real Exchange Rate," IMF Working Papers 03/68, International Monetary Fund.
  10. repec:oup:restud:v:69:y:2002:i:3:p:533-63 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Lapham, Beverly J., 1995. "A dynamic general equilibrium analysis of deviations from the laws of one price," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1355-1389, November.
  12. Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2002. "Why Are Rates of Inflation So Low After large Devaluations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Rebelo, Sérgio, 1995. "Real Effects of Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization: An Analysis of Competing Theories," CEPR Discussion Papers 1220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Caroline M. Betts & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2008. "Real Exchange Rate Movements and the Relative Price of Non-traded Goods," NBER Working Papers 14437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1977. "Price Behavior in the Light of Balance of Payments Theories," NBER Working Papers 0181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
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