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Why Do Consumer Prices React less than Import Prices to Exchange Rates?

  • Philippe Bacchetta
  • Eric van Wincoop

It is well known that the extent of pass-through of exchange rate changes to consumer prices is much lower than to import prices. One explanation is local distribution costs. Here we consider an alternative, complementary, explanation based on the optimal pricing strategies of firms. We consider a model where foreign exporting firms sell intermediate goods to domestic firms. Domestic firms assemble the imported intermediate goods and sell final goods to consumers. When domestic firms face significant competition from other domestic final goods producing sectors (e.g., the non-traded goods sector) we show that they prefer to price in domestic currency, while exporting firms tend to price in the exporter's currency. In that case the pass-through to import prices is complete, while the pass-through to consumer prices is zero.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9352.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9352.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Publication status: published as Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Why Do Consumer Prices React Less Than Import Prices to Exchange Rates?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 662-670, 04/05.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9352
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  1. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C95-048, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Giancarlo CORSETTI & Luca DEDOLA, 2003. "Macroeconomics of International Price Discrimination," Economics Working Papers ECO2003/20, European University Institute.
  3. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2002. "Why Are Rates of Inflation So Low After Large Devaluations?," RCER Working Papers 486, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," International Finance 0004002, EconWPA.
  5. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel & Peter E. Storgaard, 2002. "Endogenous Exchange Rate Pass-Through When Nominal Prices are Set in Advance," Working Papers 212002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  6. Philippe BACCHETTA & Eric VAN WINCOOP, 1999. "Does Exchange Rate Stability Increase Trade and Welfare ?," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9917, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  7. 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.
  8. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2002. "Exchange rate pass-through into import prices: a macro or micro phenomenon?," Staff Reports 149, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "Nominal income targeting in an open-economy optimizing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 553-578, June.
  10. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "International dimensions of optimal monetary policy," Staff Reports 124, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  11. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  12. Betts, Caroline & Devereux, Michael B., 1996. "The exchange rate in a model of pricing-to-market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1007-1021, April.
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