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Real Exchange Rates, Income per Capita, and Sectoral Input Shares

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  • Javier Cravino
  • Samuel E. Haltenhof

Abstract

Aggregate price levels are positively related to GDP per capita across countries. We propose a mechanism that rationalizes this observation through sectorial differences in intermediate input shares. As aggregate productivity and income grow, so do wages relative to intermediate input prices, which increases the relative price of non-tradables if tradable sectors use intermediate inputs more intensively. We show that sectorial differences in intermediate input shares can account for two thirds of the observed elasticity of the aggregate price level with respect to GDP per capita. The mechanism has stark implications for industry-level real exchange rates that are strongly supported by the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier Cravino & Samuel E. Haltenhof, 2017. "Real Exchange Rates, Income per Capita, and Sectoral Input Shares," NBER Working Papers 23705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23705
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
    2. Martin Berka & Michael B. Devereux, 2013. "Trends in European real exchange rates," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 28(74), pages 193-242, April.
    3. Lukasz A. Drozd & Jaromir B. Nosal, 2012. "Understanding International Prices: Customers as Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 364-395, February.
    4. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad, 1999. "Relative labor productivity and the real exchange rate in the long run: evidence for a panel of OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 245-266, April.
    5. Caroline M. Betts & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2008. "Real exchange rate movements and the relative price of non-traded goods," Staff Report 415, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    6. Burstein, Ariel T. & Neves, Joao C. & Rebelo, Sergio, 2003. "Distribution costs and real exchange rate dynamics during exchange-rate-based stabilizations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1189-1214, September.
    7. Josip Tica & Ivo Družić, 2006. "The Harrod-Balassa-Samuelson Effect: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," EFZG Working Papers Series 0607, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb.
    8. 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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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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