The Evolution of Cross-Region Price Distribution in Russia
The behavior of the entire cross-section distribution of prices in Russian regions is analyzed from 1992 through 2000, using non-parametric techniques. The cost of a staples basket is used as a price representative. Price dispersion measured as the standard deviation of prices is found to be diminishing since about 1994; and the shape of the cross-region distribution of prices tends to be more regular over time. To characterize intra-distribution mobility, a transition probability function (stochastic kernel) is estimated. It is also used to derive a long-run limit of the price distribution. Overall, the results suggest that, excluding a few years following the price liberalization, price convergence has been happening among Russian regions.
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