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

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:szg:worpap:0205
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  1. McCallum, B.T. & Nelson, E., 1998. "Nominal Income Targeting in an Open-Economy Optimizing Model," Papers 644, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld., 2001. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C01-121, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Scholarly Articles 12491026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2002. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices: A Macro or Micro Phenomenon?," NBER Working Papers 8934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel & Peter E. Storgaard, 2003. "Endogenous Exchange Rate Pass-through when Nominal Prices are Set in Advance," NBER Working Papers 9543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. 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.
  9. Lane, P, 1999. "The New Open Economy Macroeconomics: A Survey," Trinity Economics Papers 993, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  10. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1999. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," NBER Working Papers 7313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2003. "Macroeconomics of International Price Discrimination," CEPR Discussion Papers 3710, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2002. "Why Are Rates of Inflation So Low After Large Devaluations?," NBER Working Papers 8748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
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