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A Theory of the Currency Denomination of International Trade

  • Philippe Bacchetta
  • Eric van Wincoop

Nominal rigidities due to menu costs have become a standard element in closed economy macroeconomic modelling. The 'New Open Economy Macroeconomics' literature has investigated the implications of nominal rigidities in an open economy context and found that the currency in which prices are set has significant implications for exchange rate pass-through to import prices, the level of trade and net capital flows, and optimal monetary and exchange rate policy. While the literature has exogenously assumed in which currencies goods are priced, in this paper we solve for the equilibrium optimal pricing strategies of firms. We find that the higher the market share of an exporting country in an industry, and the more differentiated its goods, the more likely its exporters will price in the exporter's currency. Country size and the cyclicality of real wages play a role as well, but are empirically less important. We also show that when a set of countries forms a monetary union, the new currency is likely to be used more extensively in trade than the sum of the currencies it replaces.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 01.13.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of International Economics, vol. 67 (2), December 2005, pp. 295-319
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:01.13
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne

Phone: ++41 21 692.33.20
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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  9. G. Basevi & D. Cocchi & P. L. Lischi, 1985. "The Choice of Currency in the Foreign Trade of Italy," Working Papers 17, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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  22. Jonathan McCarthy, 2000. "Pass-through of exchange rates and import prices to domestic inflation in some industrialized economies," Staff Reports 111, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  23. Philippe BACCHETTA & Eric VAN WINCOOP, 1999. "Does Exchange Rate Stability Increase Trade and Welfare ?," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9917, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
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  38. repec:fth:eecero:26 is not listed on IDEAS
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