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Purchasing Power Parity


  • Rudiger Dornbusch


The paper is a survey of PPP theory and evidence prepared for the New Palgrave dictionary of economics. Following a statement of the absolute and relative versions of the theory, there is a brief sketch of the history of thought with emphasis on Cassel and the monetary approach. A theoretical part distinguishes structural and transitory deviations from PPP. The main basis for structural deviations is the Ricardo-Harrod-Balassa-Samuelson model of productivity differentials that affect the real prices of home goods and hence real price levels. Transitory deviations emerge from differential speeds of goods and assets markets. In particular sticky wages combined with imperfect competition or spatial discrimination in pricing give rise to sometimes persistent movements in real exchange rates. After an overview of empirical evidence the paper concludes with a review of implications of PPP disparities. Applications to international real income comparisons, interest rate linkages and exchange rate policy receive attention.

Suggested Citation

  • Rudiger Dornbusch, 1985. "Purchasing Power Parity," NBER Working Papers 1591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1591
    Note: ITI IFM

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Jacob A. Frenkel & Assaf Razin, 1984. "Budget Deficits and Rates of Interest in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 1354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
    4. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "An Exploration in the Theory of Exchange-Rate Regimes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 865-890, October.
    5. Aschauer, David & Greenwood, Jeremy, 1983. "A Further Exploration in the Theory of Exchange Rate Regimes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 868-875, October.
    6. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-247, April.
    7. J. J. Polak, 1957. "Monetary Analysis of Income Formation and Payments Problems," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 6(1), pages 1-50, November.
    8. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1984. "The role of saving and investment in exchange rate determination under alternative monetary mechanisms," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 307-325, May.
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