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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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16065.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as In Search of Real Rigidities , Gita Gopinath, Oleg Itskhoki. in NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25 , Acemoglu and Woodford. 2011
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16065
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  1. Ariel Burstein & Christian Hellwig, 2007. "Prices and Market Shares in a Menu Cost Model," NBER Working Papers 13455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  3. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2009. "Reset price inflation and the impact of monetary policy shocks," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2009. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," NBER Working Papers 15255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
  6. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "Sticky Price Models of the Business Cycle: Can the Contract Multiplier Solve the Persistence Problem?," NBER Working Papers 5809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Thierry Mayer & Philippe Martin & Nicolas Berman, 2010. "How do different exporters react to exchange rate changes? Theory, empirics and aggregate implications," 2010 Meeting Papers 1338, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "The Quantitative Analytics of the Basic Neomonetarist Model," NBER Working Papers 5046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Richard Pomfret & Patricia Sourdin, 2010. "Why do trade costs vary?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 146(4), pages 709-730, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Blanchard, Olivier J & Galí, Jordi, 2005. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
  14. Susanto Basu, 1994. "Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 4817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2010. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1192-1230.
  16. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10221 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  18. Jonathan L. Willis & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Real Rigidities and Nominal Price Changes," 2007 Meeting Papers 844, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Linda S. Goldberg & José Manuel Campa, 2010. "The Sensitivity of the CPI to Exchange Rates: Distribution Margins, Imported Inputs, and Trade Exposure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 392-407, May.
  20. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1987. "Exchange Rates and Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 93-106, March.
  21. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2008. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-through," NBER Working Papers 14200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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