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Pricing to Habits and the Law of One Price

  • Morten Ravn
  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe
  • Martin Uribe

This paper proposes a novel international transmission mechanism based on the assumption of deep habits. The term deep habits stands for a preference specification according to which consumers form habits on a good-by-good basis. Under deep habits, firms face more elastic demand functions in markets where nonhabitual demand is high relative to habitual demand, creating an incentive to price discriminate. We refer to this type of price discrimination as pricing to habits. In the presence of pricing to habits, innovations to domestic aggregate demand induce a decline in markups in the domestic country but not abroad, leading to a departure from the law of one price. In this way, the proposed pricing-to-habit mechanism can explain the observation that prices of the same good across countries, expressed in the same currency, vary over the business cycle. Furthermore, it can account for the empirical fact that in response to a positive domestic demand shock, such as an increase in government spending, the real exchange rate depreciates, domestic consumption expands, and the trade balance deteriorates.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12731.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Morten O. Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2007. "Pricing to Habits and the Law of One Price," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 232-238, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12731
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  1. Morten O. Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2007. "Pricing to Habits and the Law of One Price," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 232-238, May.
  2. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2002. "Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption," Economics Working Papers 911, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2005.
  3. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," IMF Working Papers 04/234, International Monetary Fund.
  4. 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.
  5. Mario J. Crucini & Mototsugu Shintani, 2006. "Persistence in Law-of-One-Price Deviations: Evidence from Micro-data," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000311, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Morten O. Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2004. "Deep Habits," 2004 Meeting Papers 208, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Froot, Kenneth A & Klemperer, Paul D, 1989. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through When Market Share Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 637-54, September.
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