IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/1034.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Towards an Explanation of National Price Levels

Author

Listed:
  • Irving B. Kravis
  • Robert E. Lipsey

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to call attention to the need for a theory of comparative national price levels and to explore some of the elements that seem to belong to such a theory. Most theoretical discussions have maintained that national price levels tend towards equality and focus on presumably temporary divergences from equality. Yet strong evidence has been accumulating that there are large and long-standing differences inprice levels, the highest of which are more than twice those of countries with the lowest prices. Long-run price level differences are most clearly related to levels of real per capita output, with richer countries having higher price levels.These differences have been explained as resulting from greater advantages in productivity for the wealthier countries in goods production, mostly tradable, than in services production, mostly nontradable. The differences in relative productivity may be in total factor productivity or only in labor productivity, reflecting the greater capital intensity of goods production and possibly a higher elasticity of substitution between capital and labor in goods production.We find in the empirical analysis that a large part of the differences in price levels can be explained by structural factors such as real GDP per capita, the degree of openness of the economy, and the share of nontradable goods in output. The only non-structural factor emerging from a preliminary analysis of several of these was the rate of growth of the quantity of money.

Suggested Citation

  • Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1982. "Towards an Explanation of National Price Levels," NBER Working Papers 1034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1034
    Note: ITI IFM
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1034.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frenkel, Jacob A, 1976. " A Monetary Approach to the Exchange Rate: Doctrinal Aspects and Empirical Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 200-224.
    2. Kravis, Irving B, 1970. "Trade as a Handmaiden of Growth: Similarities between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(323), pages 850-872, December.
    3. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1971. "Price Competitiveness in World Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number krav71-1, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1979. "On the Mark: A Theory of Floating Exchange Rates Based on Real Interest Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 610-622, September.
    6. Bruno, Michael, 1976. "The Two-Sector Open Economy and the Real Exchange Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 566-577, September.
    7. Craig, Gary A, 1981. "A Monetary Approach to the Balance of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 460-466, June.
    8. Aizenman, Joshua, 1984. "Modeling Deviations from Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 175-191, February.
    9. Kravis, Irving B & Heston, Alan W & Summers, Robert, 1978. "Real GDP per Capita for More Than One Hundred Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(350), pages 215-242, June.
    10. Kravis, Irving B & Lipsey, Robert E, 1982. "Prices and Market Shares in the International Machinery Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 110-116, February.
    11. Berglas, Eitan & Razin, Assaf, 1973. "Real exchange rate and devaluation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 179-191, May.
    12. Mussa, Michael, 1976. " The Exchange Rate, the Balance of Payments and Monetary and Fiscal Policy under a Regime of Controlled Floating," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 229-248.
    13. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-1176, December.
    14. Robert P. Flood, 1981. "Explanations of Exchange Rate Volatility and Other Empirical Regularities in Some Popular Models of the Foreign Exchange Market," NBER Working Papers 0625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Odd Aukrust, 1970. "Prim I: A Model Of The Price And Income Distribution Mechanism Of An Open Economy," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 16(1), pages 51-78, March.
    16. Marina V. N. Whitman, 1975. "Global Monetarism and the Monetary Approach to the Balance of Payments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(3), pages 491-556.
    17. Ronald W. Jones & Douglas D. Purvis, 1981. "International Differences in Response to Common External Shocks: The Role of Purchasing Power Parity," Working Paper 419, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    18. Alan Heston, 1973. "A Comparison Of Some Short‐Cut Methods Of Estimating Real Product Per Capita," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 19(1), pages 79-104, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Oscar Bajo-Rubio & Simón Sosvilla Rivero, 1993. "Teorías del tipo de cambio: una panorámica," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 9307, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    2. Meese, Richard & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1986. "Was it real? The exchange rate -- Interest differential relation: 1973-1984," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 297-298, June.
    3. Kang, Wensheng & Ratti, Ronald A. & Vespignani, Joaquin L., 2016. "The implications of monetary expansion in China for the US dollar," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 71-84.
    4. Frenkel, Jacob A. & Mussa, Michael L., 1985. "Asset markets, exchange rates and the balance of payments," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 14, pages 679-747, Elsevier.
    5. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Helliwell, John F, 1983. "A Synthesis of Keynesian, Monetary, and Portfolio Approaches to Flexible Exchange Rates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 820-831, December.
    6. Joscha Beckmann & Ansgar Belke & Michael Kühl, 2009. "How Stable Are Monetary Models of the Dollar-Euro Exchange Rate?: A Time-Varying Coefficient Approach," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 944, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Richard M. Levich, 1983. "Empirical Studies of Exchange Rates: Price Behavior, Rate Determinationand Market Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 1112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Adeline Bachellerie & Jérôme Héricourt & Valérie Mignon, 2009. "From various degrees of trade to various degrees of financial integration: What do interest rates have to say?," Aussenwirtschaft, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economics Research, vol. 64(03), pages 365-402, December.
    9. repec:zbw:rwirep:0134 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Charles Engel & Kenneth D. West, 2005. "Exchange Rates and Fundamentals," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 485-517, June.
    11. Xie, Zixiong & Chen, Shyh-Wei, 2019. "Exchange rates and fundamentals: A bootstrap panel data analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 209-224.
    12. Mogaji, Peter Kehinde, 2018. "Monetary Models Evaluation of Exchange Rate Determination in the Non-WAEMU Anglophone West Africa and Guinea," MPRA Paper 99346, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Joscha Beckmann & Ansgar Belke & Michael Kühl, 2009. "How Stable Are Monetary Models of the Dollar-Euro Exchange Rate? - A Time-varying Coefficient Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 0134, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    14. Ibhagui, Oyakhilome, 2020. "Covered interest parity deviations in standard monetary models," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 111(C).
    15. Razzaque H. Bhatti, 1996. "A Correct Test of Purchasing Power Parity: The Case of Pak-Rupee Exchange Rates," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 35(4), pages 671-682.
    16. Michael L. Mussa, 1984. "The Theory of Exchange Rate Determination," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 13-78, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Levent KORAP, 2008. "Exchange Rate Determination Of Tl/Us$:A Co-Integration Approach," Istanbul University Econometrics and Statistics e-Journal, Department of Econometrics, Faculty of Economics, Istanbul University, vol. 7(1), pages 24-50, May.
    18. Husted, Steven & MacDonald, Ronald, 1998. "Monetary-based models of the exchange rate: a panel perspective," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-19, January.
    19. Chinn, Menzie D, 1999. "On the Won and Other East Asian Currencies," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(2), pages 113-127, April.
    20. Svatopluk Kapounek & Zuzana Kucerova & Evzen Kocenda, 2020. "Selective Attention in Exchange Rate Forecasting," KIER Working Papers 1035, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    21. Yu Hsing, 2016. "Determinants of the ZAR/USD exchange rate and policy implications: A simultaneous-equation model," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1151131-115, December.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1034. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.