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Volatility and Pass-through

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  • David Berger
  • Joseph S. Vavra

Abstract

What drives countercyclical volatility? A large literature has documented that many economic variables are more disperse in recessions, but this could either occur because shocks get bigger or because firms respond more to shocks which are the same size. Existing evidence that the dispersion of endogenous variables rises in recessions cannot tell us which of volatility or responsiveness is getting bigger, and these two explanations have very different policy implications. However, we document new facts in the open economy environment and show that they can be used to disentangle these explanations. In particular, we use confidential BLS micro data to show that there is a robust positive relationship between exchange rate pass-through and the dispersion of item-level price changes. We then argue that changes in responsiveness can explain this fact while volatility shocks cannot.

Suggested Citation

  • David Berger & Joseph S. Vavra, 2013. "Volatility and Pass-through," NBER Working Papers 19651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19651
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Auer, Raphael A. & Schoenle, Raphael S., 2016. "Market structure and exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 60-77.
    2. Forbes, Kristin & Hjortsoe, Ida & Nenova, Tsvetelina, 2018. "The shocks matter: Improving our estimates of exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 255-275.
    3. Luigi Paciello & Andrea Pozzi & Nicholas Trachter, 2019. "Price Dynamics With Customer Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(1), pages 413-446, February.
    4. Berger, David & Vavra, Joseph, 2018. "Dynamics of the U.S. price distribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 60-82.
    5. Joseph S. Vavra, 2014. "Time-Varying Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 19790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Chan, Ying Tung, 2020. "Carbon policies and productivity uncertainty: An intertemporal analysis," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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