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Big Mac Parity, Income, and Trade

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  • Sidney Caetano
  • Guilherme Moura
  • Sergio Da Silva

Abstract

Nontraded inputs account for the lion's share of a Big Mac price (Ong 1997, Parsley and Wei 2003). Major departures from Big Mac PPP may then be explained by the Balassa-Samuelson income differences effect, as shown e.g. by Click (1996). But it has been argued that Click''s result is not robust to changing estimation methods, sample of countries, and time period (Fujiki and Kitamura 2003). Here we address a key theoretical distinction between high and low income countries for the Balassa-Samuelson effect to be properly evaluated. Since this distinction is missing in Click''s analysis, we revisit his finding and take a sample which is distinct (in terms of both set of countries and time period) to meet Fujiki-Kitamura''s criticism. We find that distinguishing high from low income makes no harm to Click''s result. But we also find that openness to trade (viewed as a proxy for trade barriers) helps to explain departures from Big Mac PPP.
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Suggested Citation

  • Sidney Caetano & Guilherme Moura & Sergio Da Silva, 2004. "Big Mac Parity, Income, and Trade," International Finance 0407011, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0407011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
    2. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    3. Yukinobu Kitamura & Hiroshi Fujiki, 2004. "The Big Mac Standard: A statistical Illustration," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 6(13), pages 1-18.
    4. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584-584.
    5. Ong, Li Lian, 1997. "Burgernomics: the economics of the Big Mac standard," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 865-878, December.
    6. Click, Reid W., 1996. "Contrarian MacParity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 209-212, November.
    7. De Vries, C.G. & Leuven, K.U., 1994. "Stylized Facts of Nominal Exchange Rate Returns," Papers 94-002, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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