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Price Level Convergence Among United States Cities: Lessons for the European Central Bank

We study the dynamics of price indices for major U.S. cities. Using panel econometric methods, we find that relative price levels among cities mean revert, but at a surprisingly slow rate. In a panel of 15 cities from 1918 to 1995, we estimate the half life of convergence to be approximately 9 years. The following hypotheses are investigated as explanations for the slow convergence: (i) Arbitrage impediments induced by transportation costs, and (ii) and the inclusion of nontraded goods prices in the overall price index as suggested by the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis. Our estimates provide an upper bound on convergence rates that participants in European Monetary Union may experience.

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File URL: http://www.oenb.at/dms/oenb/Publikationen/Volkswirtschaft/Working-Papers/1998/Working-Paper-32/fullversion/wp32_tcm16-6102.pdf
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Paper provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its series Working Papers with number 32.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 30 Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:32
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  9. Paul G. J. O'Connell & Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. ""The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall": How Price Differences Across U.S. Cities Are Arbitraged," NBER Working Papers 6089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Shang-Jin Wei & David C. Parsley, 1995. "Purchasing Power Disparity During the Floating Rate Period: Exchange Rate Volatility, Trade Barriers and Other Culprits," NBER Working Papers 5032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Parsley, David C & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1211-36, November.
  12. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-76, December.
  13. Peel, David & Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 2001. "Nonlinear Mean-Reversion in Real Exchange Rates: Towards a Solution to the Purchasing Power Parity Puzzles," CEPR Discussion Papers 2658, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Abuaf, Niso & Jorion, Philippe, 1990. " Purchasing Power Parity in the Long Run," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 157-74, March.
  15. Lothian, James R., 1997. "Multi-country evidence on the behavior of purchasing power parity under the current float," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-35, February.
  16. Kakkar, Vikas & Ogaki, Masao, 1999. "Real exchange rates and nontradables: A relative price approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 193-215, April.
  17. Papell, David H., 1997. "Searching for stationarity: Purchasing power parity under the current float," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 313-332, November.
  18. 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.
  19. Chinn, Menzie David, 1997. "Whither the Yen? Implications of an Intertemporal Model of the Dollar/Yen Rate," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 228-246, June.
  20. Mussa, Michael, 1986. "Nominal exchange rate regimes and the behavior of real exchange rates: Evidence and implications," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 117-214, January.
  21. Froot, Kenneth A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Perspectives on PPP and long-run real exchange rates," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 1647-1688 Elsevier.
  22. Wu, Yangru, 1996. "Are Real Exchange Rates Nonstationary? Evidence from a Panel-Data Test," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 54-63, February.
  23. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1997. "Monetary Shocks and Real Exchange Rates in Sticky Price Models of International Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Matthew Canzoneri & Robert Cumby & Behzad Diba & Gwen Eudey, 1998. "Trends in European Productivity: Implications for Real Exchange Rates, Real Interest Rates and Inflation Differentials," Working Papers 27, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  25. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
  26. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  27. MacDonald, Ronald, 1996. "Panel unit root tests and real exchange rates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 7-11, January.
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