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The Geography of Consumer Prices

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  • Adam Reiff

    (National Bank of Hungary)

  • Attila Ratfai

    (Central European University)

Abstract

We argue that the underlying width of the border in international price determination is a trivial fraction of the corresponding Engel and Rogers (1996) reduced form estimate. We develop a two-country, multi-region, dynamic, stochastic equilibrium model of monopolistic competition with costly price adjustment and cross-location shopping. The optimal price is proportional to a weighted average of market prices, with weights negatively related to shopping costs. We calibrate structural distance and border parameters to a unique panel of store-level prices, and conclude that price adjustment costs directly account for about a quarter of the reduced form border width.

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  • Adam Reiff & Attila Ratfai, 2012. "The Geography of Consumer Prices," 2012 Meeting Papers 799, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:799
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price Without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1211-1236.
    2. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
    3. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "Border Effect or Country Effect? Seattle May Not Be So Far from Vancouver After All," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 219-241, January.
    4. Péter Gábriel & Ádám Reiff, 2010. "Price setting in Hungary-a store-level analysis," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2-3), pages 161-176.
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