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One TV, One Price?

  • Jean Imbs
  • Haroon Mumtaz
  • Morten O. Ravn
  • Hélène Rey

We use a unique dataset on television prices across European countries and regions to investigate the sources of differences in price levels. Our findings are as follows: (i) Quality is a crucial determinant of price differences. Even in an integrated economic zone as Europe, rich economies tend to consume higher quality goods. This effect accounts for the lion's share of international price dispersion. (ii) Sizable international price differentials subsist even for the same television sets. The average bilateral price difference is as high as 80 euros, or 8% of the average TV price in our sample. (iii) EMU countries display lower price dispersion than non-EMU countries. (iv) absolute price differentials and relative price volatility are positively correlated with exchange rate volatility, but not with conventional measures of transport costs. (v) Importantly we show brand premia are sizable. They differ markedly across borders, in a way that does not correlate with transport costs, nor exchange rate movements. Taken together, the evidence is consistent firms exploiting market power through brand values to price discriminate across borders.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15418.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15418.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Publication status: published as Jean M. Imbs & Haroon Mumtaz & Morten O. Ravn & Hélène Rey, 2010. "One TV, One Price?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 112(4), pages 753-781, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15418
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  1. Jean Imbs & Haroon Mumtaz & Morten Ravn & Hélène Rey, 2005. "PPP Strikes Back: Aggregation and the Real Exchange Rate," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 1-43, January.
  2. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2006. "Distribution margins, imported inputs, and the sensitivity of the CPI to exchange rates," Staff Reports 247, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Parsley, David C & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1211-36, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "Border Effect or Country Effect? Seattle May Not Be So Far from Vancouver After All," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 219-41, January.
  6. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Roberto Rigobon, 2007. "Currency Choice and Exchange Rate Pass-through," NBER Working Papers 13432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Gita Gopinath & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Nicholas Li, 2009. "Estimating the Border Effect: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2008. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-through," NBER Working Papers 14200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Carlos Carvalho & Fernanda Nechio, 2008. "Aggregation and the PPP puzzle in a sticky-price model," Staff Reports 351, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  11. Mario J. Crucini & Mototsugu Shintani, 2002. "Persistence in Law-Of-One-Price Deviations: Evidence from Micro-Data," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0222, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised Jul 2004.
  12. 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.
  13. Marcus Asplund & Richard Friberg, 2001. "The Law of One Price in Scandinavian Duty-Free Stores," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1072-1083, September.
  14. Haskel, Jonathan & Wolf, Holger C, 1999. "Why Does the 'Law of One Price' Fail? A Case Study," CEPR Discussion Papers 2187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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