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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
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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. Sergio Rebelo & Carlos A. Vegh, 1995. "Real Effects of Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization: An Analysis of Competing Theories," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 125-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Caroline M. Betts & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2008. "Real exchange rate movements and the relative price of non-traded goods," Staff Report 415, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Jean Imbs & Haroon Mumtaz & Morton O. Ravn & Helene Rey, 2002. "PPP Strikes Back: Aggregation and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 9372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
  8. 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.
  9. Charles Engel, 1992. "Real Exchange Rates and Relative Prices: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 4231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  12. Mario J. Crucini & Chris I. Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2005. "Understanding European Real Exchange Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 724-738, June.
  13. Maurice Obstfeld, 2003. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," International Finance 0303006, EconWPA.
  14. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1994. "How Wide is the Border?," NBER Working Papers 4829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Kravis, Irving B. & Lipsey, Robert E., 1978. "Price behavior in the light of balance of payments theories," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 193-246, May.
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