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

  • Berner, Eike
  • Birg, Laura

This paper uses German household data on apparel purchases to show that, conditional on income, households differ with respect to their shopping outlets and the prices they pay. We estimate that high-price retailers are not affected by changes in import prices. By contrast, the pass-through for low-price retailers is 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 explanation for these observations in a theoretical model with vertical product differentiation due to bundling an otherwise homogeneous imported good with services. Following an import price shock, retailers who sell cheaper unbundled products change prices more 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
Contact details of provider: Postal: Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3, 37073 Göttingen
Web page: http://www.cege.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/

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  1. Ariel T. Burstein & Joao C. Neves & Sergio Rebelo, 2000. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilizations," RCER Working Papers 473, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Thierry Mayer & Philippe Martin & Nicolas Berman, 2010. "How do different exporters react to exchange rate changes? Theory, empirics and aggregate implications," 2010 Meeting Papers 1338, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Braakmann, Nils & Wagner, Joachim, 2009. "Labor Market Adjustments after a Large Import Shock: Evidence from the German Clothing Industry and the Multi-Fibre Arrangement," IZA Discussion Papers 4633, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Raphael Auer & Thomas Chaney, 2009. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through in a Competitive Model of Pricing-to-Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(s1), pages 151-175, 02.
  8. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2008. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-through," NBER Working Papers 14200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stefania Garetto, 2014. "Firms’ Heterogeneity and Incomplete Pass-Through," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2014-006, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Campa, José Manuel & Goldberg, Linda S., 2004. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 4391, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  13. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2010. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1192-1230.
  14. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2009. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," NBER Working Papers 15255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10221 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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