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Currency Choice and Exchange Rate Pass-through

  • Gita Gopinath
  • Oleg Itskhoki
  • Roberto Rigobon

A central assumption of open economy macro models with nominal rigidities relates to the currency in which goods are priced, whether there is so-called producer currency pricing or local currency pricing. This has important implications for exchange rate pass-through and optimal exchange rate policy. We show, using novel transaction level information on currency and prices for U.S. imports, that even conditional on a price change, there is a large difference in the pass-through of the average good priced in dollars (25%) versus non-dollars (95%). This finding is contrary to the assumption in a large class of models that the currency of pricing is exogenous and is evidence of an important selection effect that results from endogenous currency choice. We describe a model of optimal currency choice in an environment of staggered price setting and show that the empirical evidence strongly supports the model's predictions of the relation between currency choice and pass-through. We further document evidence of significant real rigidities, with the pass-through of dollar pricers increasing above 50% in the long-run. Lastly, we numerically illustrate the currency choice decision in both a Calvo and a menu-cost model with variable mark-ups and imported intermediate inputs and evaluate the ability of these models to match pass-through patterns documented in the data.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13432.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13432.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Publication status: published as Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Roberto Rigobon, 2010. "Currency Choice and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 304-36, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13432
Note: EFG IFM ME ITI
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  18. Charles Engel, 2006. "Equivalence Results for Optimal Pass-Through, Optimal Indexing to Exchange Rates, and Optimal Choice of Currency for Export Pricing," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1249-1260, December.
  19. Ariel Burstein & Andrew Atkeson, 2005. "Trade Costs, Pricing to Market, and International Relative Prices," 2005 Meeting Papers 201, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  21. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Roberto Rigobon, 2010. "Currency Choice and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 304-36, March.
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