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Exaggerated Death of Distance: Revisiting Distance Effects on Regional Price Dispersions

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  • Kazuko Kano
  • Takashi Kano

    (Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo)

  • Kazutaka Takechi

    (Faculty of Economics, Hosei University)

Abstract

Past studies in the literature of the law of one price (LOP) show statistically significant but economically subtle roles of geographical distance in regional price dispersions. In this paper, we challenge this empirical "death of distance" as a primary source of LOP violations investigating a unique daily data set of wholesale prices of agricultural products in Japan that enables us to identify source regions and observe product-delivery patterns to consuming regions. We build a simple structural model to explain the observed product-delivery patterns and argue that ignoring the underlying delivery choice results in a serious under-bias toward inferences on distance effects on regional price dispersions due to sample selection. Estimating a sample-selection model, on which theoretical restrictions of our structural model are imposed, with data of several agricultural products, we find quite large estimates of the distance elasticity of price differential compared with conventional estimates. This paper, hence, provides evidence that conventional estimates of the distance elasticity could be heavily biased downwards and spuriously underestimate the role transportation costs play in regional price dispersions and LOP violations.

Suggested Citation

  • Kazuko Kano & Takashi Kano & Kazutaka Takechi, 2010. "Exaggerated Death of Distance: Revisiting Distance Effects on Regional Price Dispersions," Working Paper Series 162, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:wpaper:162
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    2. Nagayasu, Jun, 2014. "Regional inflation, spatial location and the Balassa-Samuelson effect," MPRA Paper 59220, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Anderson Michael A. & Schaefer Kurt C. & Smith Stephen L. S., 2013. "Can Price Dispersion Reveal Distance-Related Trade Costs? Evidence from the United States," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 151-173, June.
    4. Kazuko Kano & Takashi Kano & Kazutaka Takechi, 2012. "Nonparametric Identification and Estimation of the Number of Components in Multivariate Mixtures," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd12-246, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Crucini, Mario J. & Shintani, Mototsugu & Tsuruga, Takayuki, 2015. "Noisy information, distance and law of one price dynamics across US cities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 52-66.
    6. Choi, Chi-Young & Choi, Horag, 2016. "The role of two frictions in geographic price dispersion: When market friction meets nominal rigidity," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1-27.
    7. Mamello A Nchake & Lawrence Edwards & Tresor N Kaya, 2019. "The Size of the Border and Product Market Integration Between Lesotho and South Africa: A Production–Consumption Approach," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 28(1), pages 70-88.
    8. Nobuhiro Hosoe & Yuko Akune, 2019. "Can the Japanese Agri-food Sectors Survive by Promoting their Exports?:A General Equilibrium Analysis with Farm Heterogeneity and Product Differentiation," GRIPS Discussion Papers 19-06, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    9. A. Nchake Mamello & Edwards Lawrence & N. Kaya Tresor, 2017. "Working Paper 272 - Price effects of borders between Lesotho and South Africa," Working Paper Series 2389, African Development Bank.
    10. TAKECHI Kazutaka, 2015. "The Quality of Distance: Quality sorting, Alchian-Allen effect, and geography," Discussion papers 15018, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. TAKECHI Kazutaka, 2016. "Daily Gravity," Discussion papers 16095, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Roberta Capello & Andrea Caragliu & Ugo Fratesi, 2018. "Breaking Down the Border: Physical, Institutional and Cultural Obstacles," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 94(5), pages 485-513, October.
    13. Piao, Xiangdan, 2017. "In search of a comprehensive picture of the gender gap: An examination of male and female choices of labor supply, leisure, consumption, and home production," RCESR Discussion Paper Series DP17-3, Research Center for Economic and Social Risks, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    14. Boffa,Mauro & Varela,Gonzalo J., 2019. "Integration and Price Transmission in Key Food Commodity Markets in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8755, The World Bank.
    15. Malloy Brandon, 2018. "The Supply Network and Price Dispersion in the Canadian Gasoline Market," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 75-107, June.
    16. Hoonsawat Ratidanai, 2016. "Information Searching: The Case of Tourism Promoted Through the Internet," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 33-47, March.
    17. Kano, Kazuko & Kano, Takashi & Takechi, Kazutaka, 2013. "The Price of Distance: Producer Heterogeneity, Pricing to Market, and Geographic Barriers," Discussion Papers 2013-03, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    18. Tianbo Wu & Bin Zhang & Yukun Cao & Pingjun Sun, 2020. "Impact of Multi-Dimensional and Dynamic Distance on China’s Exports of Wooden Forest Products to Countries along the “Belt and Road”," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(8), pages 1-12, April.
    19. Chi‐Young Choi & Anthony Murphy & Jyh‐Lin Wu, 2017. "Segmentation of consumer markets in the US: What do intercity price differences tell us?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(3), pages 738-777, August.
    20. Yuko Akune & Nobuhiro Hosoe, 2019. "Microdata Analysis of Japanese Farmers' Productivity: Estimating Farm Heterogeneity and Elasticity of Substitution among Varieties," GRIPS Discussion Papers 19-24, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    21. Jun Nagayasu, 2017. "Regional inflation, spatial locations and the Balassa-Samuelson effect: Evidence from Japan," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 54(6), pages 1482-1499, May.
    22. Kazunobu Hayakawa & Ikumo Isono & Satoru Kumagai, 2020. "Transportation Costs in Archipelagos: Evidence from Indonesia," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 58(3), pages 227-241, September.
    23. KANO Kazuko & KANO Takashi & TAKECHI Kazutaka, 2015. "The Price of Distance: Pricing to market, producer heterogeneity, and geographic barriers," Discussion papers 15017, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    24. Ratidanai Hoonsawat, 2016. "Information Searching: The Case of Tourism Promoted Through the Internet," Global Economy Journal (GEJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 33-47, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    law of one price; regional price dispersion; transportation cost; geographical distance; agricultural wholesale price; sample-selection bias;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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