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In Search of Real Rigidities


  • Gita Gopinath
  • Oleg Itskhoki


The closed and open economy literatures work on evaluating the role of real rigidities, but in parallel. This paper brings the two literatures together. We use international price data and exchange rate shocks to evaluate the importance of real rigidities in price setting. We show that consistent with the presence of real rigidities the response of reset-price inflation to exchange rate shocks depicts significant persistence. Individual import prices, conditional on changing, respond to exchange rate shocks prior to the last price change. At the same time aggregate reset-price inflation for imports, like that for consumer prices, depicts little persistence. Competitor prices affect firm pricing, and exchange rate pass-through into import prices is greater in response to trade-weighted as opposed to bilateral exchange rate shocks. We quantitatively evaluate sticky price models (Calvo and menu cost) with variable markups at the wholesale level and constant markups at the retail level, consistent with empirical evidence. Variable markups alone generate price sluggishness at the aggregate level, while they fall short of matching price persistence at the micro level. Finally, variable markups magnify the size of the contract multiplier, but their absolute effects are modest unless they are coupled with exogenous sources of persistence.

Suggested Citation

  • Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "In Search of Real Rigidities," NBER Working Papers 16065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16065
    Note: EFG IFM ME

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    1. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2000. "Sticky Price Models of the Business Cycle: Can the Contract Multiplier Solve the Persistence Problem?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1151-1180, September.
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    5. Nakamura, Emi & Zerom, Dawit, 2008. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," MPRA Paper 14389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    8. Gopinath, Gita & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Li, Nicholas, 2009. "Estimating the Border Effect: Some New Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7281, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 675-727.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics


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