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Balassa-Samuelson, Product Differentiation and Transition

  • Richard Frensch

    ()

    (Osteuropa-Institut, Regensburg (Institut for East European Studies))

Recent panel studies have found relatively high estimates for the elasticity of real exchange rates with respect to productivity measures in transition economies within Balassa-Samuelson frameworks. This contrasts with other findings reporting cross-section price-income elasticity estimates to depend positively on average income in the sample. This paper aims to reconcile both results by putting real exchange rate developments of transition economies in an international perspective. We illustrate the special status of these economies in a simple world-wide Balassa-Samuelson-type price-income benchmark relationship between a real exchange rate measure (Penn World Table comparative prices, i.e., exchange rate gaps) and PPP-adjusted per capita income. A pronounced undervaluation at the start of transition, followed by a strong appreciation results in normalisation towards the benchmark for Central and East European economies (CEEC) but not for the CIS. We then make an attempt at extending the simple price-income relationship to incorporate other real factors as well as reforms related to price deregulation. Our results imply that, when accounting for demand shifts, external liberalisation, and especially for reform effort, the price-income-elasticity for CEEC economies was not different from that of non-transition economies during the nineties.

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Paper provided by Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies) in its series Working Papers with number 266.

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Length: 55
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ost:wpaper:266
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  1. Bergin, Paul R & Glick, Reuven & Taylor, Alan M., 2004. "Productivity, Tradability and the Long-Run Price Puzzle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  3. Frensch, Richard, 2002. "Tariffs in monopolistic competition models with leisure-consumption trade-off," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 255-263, October.
  4. Leon Podkaminer, 2003. "Analytical notes on the Balassa-Samuelson effect," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 56(226), pages 207-221.
  5. Richard Frensch, 2000. "Internal Liberalization as a Barrier To Export-led Recovery in Central European Countries Preparing For EU Accession," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(3), pages 31-47, September.
  6. Venables, Anthony J, 1987. "Trade and Trade Policy with Differentiated Products: A Chamberlinian-Ricardian Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 700-717, September.
  7. Laszlo Halpern & Charles Wyplosz, 2001. "Economic Transformation and Real Exchange Rates in the 2000s: The Balassa-Samuelson Connection," ECE Discussion Papers Series 2001_1, UNECE.
  8. Frensch, Richard, 2004. "Public governance as the source of quality and variety gains from transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 388-408, September.
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