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Retailers and Consumers: The pass-through of import price changes

  • Berner, Eike
  • Birg, Laura

In this paper, we estimate pass-through rates of import price changes to retail prices across retailers and consumers for apparel purchases in Germany for the period of 2000 to 2007. We find that high-price retailers do not pass through changes in the import price. Pass-through rates for low-price retailers are 53% within 3 months. Consequently, pass-through rates for low-income households are 58%, significantly larger than those for high-income households. We then present one possible explanation for these observations in a theoretical model with endogenous vertical product differentiation due to bundling an ex-ante homogeneous import good with services. Following an import price change, retailers who sell a cheaper unbundled product change prices to a greater extent than retailers who sell a higher-priced bundle of product and service.

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Paper provided by University of Goettingen, Department of Economics in its series Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers with number 133.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:133
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Web page: http://www.cege.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/

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  1. Auer, Raphael & Chaney, Thomas, 2009. "Exchange rate pass-through in a competitive model of pricing-to-market," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 23, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. Hellerstein, Rebecca, 2008. "Who bears the cost of a change in the exchange rate? Pass-through accounting for the case of beer," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 14-32, September.
  3. Villas-Boas, Sofia B & Hellerstein, Rebecca, 2010. "Outsourcing and Pass-Through," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt35g7b4jg, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  4. Raff, Horst & Wagner, Joachim, 2009. "Intra-Industry Adjustment to Import Competition: Theory and Application to the German Clothing Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 4434, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Ariel T. Burstein & Joao C. Neves & Sergio Rebelo, 2000. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based-Stabilizations," NBER Working Papers 7862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nakamura, Emi & Zerom, Dawit, 2008. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," MPRA Paper 14389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Raphael Anton Auer & Raphael S. Schoenle, 2012. "Market Structure and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," Working Papers 2012-14, Swiss National Bank.
  8. George Alessandria, 2004. "International Deviations From The Law Of One Price: The Role Of Search Frictions And Market Share," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1263-1291, November.
  9. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2016. "Quality, trade, and exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 61-80.
  10. Horst Raff & Nicolas Schmitt, 2012. "Imports and the structure of retail markets," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1431-1455, November.
  11. Campa, Jose M. & Goldberg, Linda S., 2006. "Pass through of exchange rates to consumption prices: What has changed and why?," IESE Research Papers D/653, IESE Business School.
  12. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716.
  13. Berman, Nicolas & Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry, 2009. "How do different exporters react to exchange rate changes? Theory, empirics and aggregate implications," CEPR Discussion Papers 7493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Richard Fabling & Lynda Sanderson, 2013. "Export performance, invoice currency, and heterogeneous exchange rate pass-through," Treasury Working Paper Series 13/03, New Zealand Treasury.
  15. 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.
  16. Nils Braakmann & Joachim Wagner, 2009. "Labor market adjustments after a large import shock: Evidence from the German clothing industry and the Multi-Fibre Arrangement," Working Paper Series in Economics 155, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  17. Han, Jun & Liu, Runjuan & Ural Marchand, Beyza & Zhang, Junsen, 2013. "Market Structure, Imperfect Tariff Pass-Through, and Household Welfare in Urban China," Working Papers 2013-11, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 01 Jul 2014.
  18. Joseph Francois & Julia Woerz, 2008. "Nonlinear Panel Estimation Of Time-Varying Effects Of Import Quotas," IIDE Discussion Papers 20080501, Institue for International and Development Economics.
  19. Linda S. Goldberg & José Manuel Campa, 2010. "The Sensitivity of the CPI to Exchange Rates: Distribution Margins, Imported Inputs, and Trade Exposure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 392-407, May.
  20. 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.
  21. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 675-727.
  22. José Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2005. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 679-690, November.
  23. Stefania Garetto, 2014. "Firms’ Heterogeneity and Incomplete Pass-Through," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2014-006, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  24. Bernini, Michele & Tomasi, Chiara, 2015. "Exchange rate pass-through and product heterogeneity: Does quality matter on the import side?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 117-138.
  25. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2010. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1192-1230.
  26. de Vos, Klaas & Zaidi, M Asghar, 1997. "Equivalence Scale Sensitivity of Poverty Statistics for the Member States of the European Community," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(3), pages 319-33, September.
  27. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  28. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10221 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
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