IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Understanding International Price Differences Using Barcode Data

  • Christian Broda
  • David E. Weinstein

The empirical literature in international finance has produced three key results about international price deviations: borders give rise to flagrant violations of the law of one price, distance matters enormously for understanding these deviations, and most papers find that convergence rates back to purchasing power parity are inconsistent with the evidence of micro studies on nominal price stickiness. The data underlying these results are mostly comprised of price indexes and price surveys of goods that may not be identical internationally. In this paper, we revisit these three stylized facts using massive amounts of US and Canadian data that share a common barcode classification. We find that none of these three main stylized facts survive. We use our barcode level data to replicate prior work and explain what assumptions caused researchers to find different results from those we find in this paper. Overall, our work is supportive of simple pricing models where the degree of market segmentation across the border is similar to that within borders.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14017.

in new window

Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14017
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," Research Working Paper 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  2. Goldberg, Pinelopi & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "Market Integration and Convergence to the Law of One Price: Evidence from the European Car Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2926, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Mario J. Crucini & Chris I. Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2001. "Understanding European Real Exchange Rates," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0120, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  4. Giovannini, Alberto, 1988. "Exchange rates and traded goods prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 45-68, February.
  5. Shiu-Sheng Chen & Charles Engel, 2005. "Does 'Aggregation Bias' Explain The Ppp Puzzle?," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 49-72, 02.
  6. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2008. "Pricing-to-Market, Trade Costs, and International Relative Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1998-2031, December.
  7. Crucini, Mario J. & Shintani, Mototsugu, 2008. "Persistence in law of one price deviations: Evidence from micro-data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 629-644, April.
  8. Haskel, Jonathan & Wolf, Holger, 2001. " The Law of One Price--A Case Study," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 545-58, December.
  9. Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1994. "Pricing in International Markets: Lessons from The Economist," Working Papers 94-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Choi, Chi-Young & Mark, Nelson C. & Sul, Donggyu, 2006. "Unbiased Estimation of the Half-Life to PPP Convergence in Panel Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 921-938, June.
  12. Knetter, Michael M, 1989. "Price Discrimination by U.S. and German Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 198-210, March.
  13. Knetter, Michael M, 1993. "International Comparisons of Price-to-Market Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 473-86, June.
  14. Rogers, John H. & Jenkins, Michael, 1995. "Haircuts or hysteresis? Sources of movements in real exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 339-360, May.
  15. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Explaining the Border Effect: The Role of Exchange Rate Variability, Shipping Costs, and Geography," NBER Working Papers 7836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2007. "Product Creation and Destruction: Evidence and Price Implications," NBER Working Papers 13041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Harris, Richard D. F. & Tzavalis, Elias, 1999. "Inference for unit roots in dynamic panels where the time dimension is fixed," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 201-226, August.
  18. Robert E. Cumby, 1996. "Forecasting Exchange Rates and Relative Prices with the Hamburger Standard: Is What You Want What You Get With McParity?," NBER Working Papers 5675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fear of Floating," NBER Working Papers 7993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Maurice Obstfeld and Alan M. Taylor., 1997. "Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C97-088, University of California at Berkeley.
  21. Imbs, Jean & Mumtaz, Haroon & Ravn, Morten O & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "'Aggregation Bias' DOES Explain the PPP Puzzle," CEPR Discussion Papers 5237, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Kenneth A. Froot & Michael Kim & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The Law of One Price Over 700 Years," NBER Working Papers 5132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price Without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. DavidC. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "A Prism into the PPP Puzzles: The Micro-Foundations of Big Mac Real Exchange Rates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1336-1356, October.
  25. 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.
  26. Matthias Lutz, 2004. "Pricing in Segmented Markets, Arbitrage Barriers, and the Law of One Price: Evidence from the European Car Market," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 456-475, 08.
  27. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14017. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.