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

  • Philippe Bacchetta

    ()

    (University of Lausanne, Studienzentrum Gerzensee and CEPR)

  • Eric van Wincoop

    ()

    (University of Virginia)

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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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee in its series Working Papers with number 02.05.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:szg:worpap:0205
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  1. 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.
  2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola, 2002. "Macroeconomics of international price discrimination," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 461, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2005. "International dimensions of optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 281-305, March.
  4. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1998. "Nominal Income Targeting in an Open-Economy Optimizing Model," Seminar Papers 644, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2002. "Why Are Rates of Inflation So Low After large Devaluations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Scholarly Articles 12491026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Campa, Jose M. & Goldberg, Linda S., 2002. "Exchange rate pass-through into import prices: A macro or micro phenomenon?," IESE Research Papers D/475, IESE Business School.
  9. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 1999. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C99-107, University of California at Berkeley.
  10. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1996. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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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