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The Assessment of National Price Levels

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  • Irving B. Kravis
  • Robert E. Lipsey

Abstract

This paper attempts to find norms for long-run national price levels,and therefore, by implication, for exchange rates, that are superior to those implied by the absolute or relative versions of purchasing power parity theory. The structural variables we have found to determine these price levels, real income per capita, the openness of the economy, and the share of tradables in total output, are used to explain price levels in periods since 1960 and to some extent since 1950.The results suggest that there was a movement toward a more "orderly" alignment of price levels, especially in the period before the 1970's. That is,national price levels came to be explained to an increasing degree by our structural variables. The price levels implied by the structural equations appear to come closer to representing long-run equilibrium levels than do those implied by purchasing power parity. The deviations from the structural equations seem to have value inpredicting future changes in price levels or real exchange rates,in conbination with changes in the structural variables. And they also contribute to predicting changes in the balance of trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1986. "The Assessment of National Price Levels," NBER Working Papers 1912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1912
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    1. Peter Hill, 1984. "Real Gross Product in OECD Countries and Associated Purchasing Power Parities," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 17, OECD Publishing.
    2. Kravis, Irving B, 1984. "Comparative Studies of National Incomes and Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 1-39, March.
    3. Clague, Christopher, 1986. "Determinants of the National Price Level: Some Empirical Results," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 320-323, May.
    4. Kravis, Irving B. & Lipsey, Robert E., 1978. "Price behavior in the light of balance of payments theories," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 193-246, May.
    5. Kravis, Irving B & Heston, Alan W & Summers, Robert, 1978. "Real GDP per Capita for More Than One Hundred Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(350), pages 215-242, June.
    6. Berglas, Eitan & Razin, Assaf, 1973. "Real exchange rate and devaluation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 179-191, May.
    7. Bushe, Dennis M & Kravis, Irving B & Lipsey, Robert E, 1986. "Prices, Activity, and Machinery Exports: An Analysis Based on New Price Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 248-255, May.
    8. Krueger,Anne O., 1983. "Exchange-Rate Determination," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521273015, April.
    9. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1984. "Why Are Services Cheaper in the Poor Countries?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 279-286, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Selaive & Vicente Tuesta, 2006. "The Consumption-Real Exchange Rate Anomaly: Non-Traded Goods, Incomplete Markets and Distribution Services," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 359, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Yin‐Wong Cheung & Eiji Fujii, 2014. "Exchange Rate Misalignment Estimates—Sources Of Differences," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 91-121, March.
    3. Jorge Selaive & Vicente Tuesta, 2003. "Net foreign assets and imperfect pass-through: the consumption real exchange rate anomaly," International Finance Discussion Papers 764, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Yin-Wong Cheung & Eiji Fujii, 2014. "The Penn effect within a country: evidence from Japan," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 1070-1089.
    5. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2001. "The Optimal Choice of Exchange Rate Regime: Price-Setting Rules and Internationalized Production," NBER Chapters,in: Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey, pages 163-194 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Hoffmann, Mathias & Tillmann, Peter, 2012. "International financial integration and national price levels: The role of the exchange rate regime," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1503-1528.
    7. Eiji Fujii, 2015. "Reconsidering The Price–Income Relationship Across Countries," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 733-760, December.
    8. Kornélia Krajnyák & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 1998. "Competitiveness in Transition Economies: What Scope for Real Appreciation?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(2), pages 309-362, June.
    9. Sven W. Arndt & J. David Richardson, 1987. "Real-Financial Linkages Among Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 2230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Stockman, Alan C & Tesar, Linda L, 1995. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 168-185, March.
    11. Gundlach, Erich & Scheide, Joachim & Sinn, Stefan, 1990. "Die Entwicklung nationaler Auslandsvermögenspositionen: Konsequenzen für die Wirtschaftspolitik," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 414, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Paul De Grauwe & Guy Verfaille, 1988. "Exchange Rate Variability, Misalignment, and the European Monetary System," NBER Chapters,in: Misalignment of Exchange Rates: Effects on Trade and Industry, pages 77-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Yin-Wong Cheung, 2012. "Exchange Rate Misalignment - The Case of the Chinese Renminbi," CESifo Working Paper Series 3797, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Robert E. Lipsey & Birgitta Swedenborg, 1993. "The High Cost of Eating: Agricultural Protection and International Differences in Consumer Food Prices," NBER Working Papers 4555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Johnston, Paul V., 1992. "Trade Dependency Index Tables for Total, Merchandise and Agricultural Trade, 1960-88," Statistical Bulletin 154764, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    16. Howard E. Doran & D.S. Prasada Rao & Alicia N. Rambaldi, 2005. "Constructing Internationally Comparable Real Income Aggregates by Combining Sparse Benchmark Data with Annual National Accounts Data. A State-Space Approach," CEPA Working Papers Series WP032005, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    17. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski, 2004. "Violating purchasing power parity," Working Papers 04-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    18. Hoffmann, Mathias & Tillmann, Peter, 2008. "Integration of financial markets and national price levels: the role of exchange rate volatility," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2008,07, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    19. Robert E. Lipsey & Irving B. Kravis, 1986. "The Competitiveness and Comparative Advantage of U.S. Multinationals, 1957-1983," NBER Working Papers 2051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Yin-Wong Cheung & Menzie D. Chinn & Eiji Fujii, 2010. "Measuring Renminbi Misalignment: Where Do We Stand?," Working Papers 242010, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    21. Carmen Mar? Mart?ez, 2003. "Current Account Imbalances, Thriftiness And The Real Exchange Rate In A Growing Economy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 589.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).

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