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National Price Levels and the Prices of Tradables and Nontradables

Listed author(s):
  • Irving B. Kravis
  • Robert E. Lipsey

This paper examines changes in national price levels and prices of tradables and nontradables and relates them to changes in variables found earlier to be associated with price level differences among countries. Across countries, national price levels increase systematically with the level of a country's per capita income, and the ratios of tradables to nontradables prices decrease. Over time, increases in per capita income are generally associated with increases in price levels in the industrial countries, although the opposite relationship tended to prevail among developing countries. Increases in income are associated with declines in the ratio of tradables to nontradables price levels more consistently than with the increases in general price levels. Increases in the exchange value of a currency are also associated with declines in the price levels for tradablesrelative to nontradables. Countries with price levels that were high or low relative to those predicted by the structural equations tended to move toward those predicted levels.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2536.

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Date of creation: Mar 1988
Publication status: published as The American Economic Review, Vol. 78, No. 2, pp. 474-478, (May 1988).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2536
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  1. 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.
  2. Sven W. Arndt & J. David Richardson, 1987. "Real-Financial Linkages Among Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 2230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1982. "Towards an Explanation of National Price Levels," NBER Working Papers 1034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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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