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A framework for identifying the sources of local currency price stability with an empirical application

  • Pinelopi K. Goldberg
  • Rebecca Hellerstein

The inertia of traded goods' local currency prices in the face of exchange rate changes is a well-documented phenomenon in the field of international economics. This paper develops a framework for identifying the sources of local currency price stability. The empirical approach exploits manufacturers' and retailers' first-order conditions, in conjunction with detailed information on the frequency of price adjustments in response to exchange rate changes, to quantify the relative importance of fixed costs of repricing, local-cost nontraded components, and markup adjustment by manufacturers and retailers in the incomplete transmission of exchange rate changes to prices. The approach is applied to micro data from the beer market. We find that (a) wholesale prices appear more rigid than retail prices; (b) price adjustment costs on average account for up to 0.5 percent of revenue at the wholesale level but only 0.1 percent of revenue at the retail level; (c) overall, 54.1 percent of the incomplete exchange rate pass-through is due to local nontraded costs, 33.7 percent to markup adjustment, and 12.2 percent to the existence of price adjustment costs.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 287.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:287
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  1. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Frank Verboven, 2001. "Market Integration and Convergence to the Law of One Price: Evidence from the European Car Market," NBER Working Papers 8402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anil K. Kashyap, 1990. "Sticky prices: new evidence from retail catalogs," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 112, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "The Evolution of Price Dispersion in the European Car Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 811-48, October.
  4. Nevo, Aviv, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Research Reports 25164, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  5. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Sales and consumer inventory," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 543-561, 09.
  6. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "Analytical Approximations in Models of Hysteresis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 141-51, January.
  7. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Optimal Pricing with Costly Adjustment: Evidence from Retail-Grocery Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 87-107, January.
  8. Morten Overgaard Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2010. "Incomplete Cost Pass-Through Under Deep Habits," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 317-332, April.
  9. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2005. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Levy, Daniel, et al, 1997. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 791-825, August.
  11. Ariel T. Burstein & Joao C. Neves & Sergio Rebelo, 2000. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilizations," RCER Working Papers 473, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  12. George Alessandria & Joseph Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2008. "Inventories, Lumpy Trade, and Large Devaluations," NBER Working Papers 13790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Aguirregabiria, Victor, 1999. "The Dynamics of Markups and Inventories in Retailing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 275-308, April.
  14. 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.
  15. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2009. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," NBER Working Papers 15255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Sven W. Arndt & J. David Richardson, 1987. "Real-Financial Linkages Among Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 2230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-58, September.
  19. Campa, José Manuel & Goldberg, Linda S., 2006. "Distribution Margins, Imported Inputs and the Insensitivity of the CPI to Exchange Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 5650, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Charles Engel, 2002. "Expenditure Switching and Exchange Rate Policy," NBER Working Papers 9016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Hellerstein, Rebecca, 2008. "Who bears the cost of a change in the exchange rate? Pass-through accounting for the case of beer," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 14-32, September.
  22. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1997. "Aggregation and Optimization with State-Dependent Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 601-626, May.
  23. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  24. Villas-Boas, Sofia B. & Hellerstein, Rebecca, 2004. "Identification of supply models of retailer and manufacturer oligopoly pricing," CUDARE Working Paper Series 0993, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  25. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy & Robert Venable, 2005. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Macroeconomics 0505007, EconWPA.
  26. Sofia Berto Villas-Boas, 2007. "Vertical Relationships between Manufacturers and Retailers: Inference with Limited Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 625-652.
  27. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  28. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "A Near-rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Intertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 823-38, Supp..
  29. Rebecca Hellerstein, 2006. "A decomposition of the sources of incomplete cross-border transmission," Staff Reports 250, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  30. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2008. "High exchange-rate volatility and low pass-through," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1113-1128, September.
  31. Martin Pesendorfer, 2002. "Retail Sales: A Study of Pricing Behavior in Supermarkets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(1), pages 33-66, January.
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  33. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:543-561 is not listed on IDEAS
  34. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708, August.
  35. Sobel, Joel, 1984. "The Timing of Sales," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 353-68, July.
  36. Charles Engel, 2004. "On the Relationship between Pass-Through and Sticky Nominal Prices," Working Papers 112004, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  37. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  38. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
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