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

Listed author(s):
  • 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
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. 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.
  2. Burstein, Ariel T. & Neves, Joao C. & Rebelo, Sergio, 2003. "Distribution costs and real exchange rate dynamics during exchange-rate-based stabilizations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1189-1214, September.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2009. "How do Different Exporters React to Exchange Rate Changes? Theory, Empirics and Aggregate Implications," Working Papers 2009-32, CEPII research center.
  6. 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.
  7. Stefania Garetto, 2014. "Firms’ Heterogeneity and Incomplete Pass-Through," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2014-006, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  8. Horst Raff & Joachim Wagner, 2009. "Intra-Industry Adjustment to Import Competition: Theory and Application to the German Clothing Industry," CESifo Working Paper Series 2851, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. 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.
  10. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, September.
  11. Nakamura, Emi & Zerom, Dawit, 2008. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," MPRA Paper 14389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Hellerstein, Rebecca & Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2010. "Outsourcing and pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 170-183, July.
  13. Han, Jun & Liu, Runjuan & Ural Marchand, Beyza & Zhang, Junsen, 2016. "Market structure, imperfect tariff pass-through, and household welfare in Urban China," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 220-232.
  14. 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.
  15. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2016. "Quality, trade, and exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 61-80.
  16. 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.
  17. Auer, Raphael A. & Schoenle, Raphael S., 2016. "Market structure and exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 60-77.
  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. Michele Bernini & Chiara Tomasi, 2014. "Exchange rate pass-through and product heterogeneity: does quality matter on the import side?," Working Papers 2014020, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
  20. Raff, Horst & Schmitt, Nicolas, 2011. "Imports and the structure of retail markets," Economics Working Papers 2011,05, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  21. 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.
  22. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
  23. Richard Fabling & Lynda Sanderson, 2013. "Export performance, invoice currency, and heterogeneous exchange rate pass-through," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2013/01, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  24. 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).
  25. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10221 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. 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.
  27. Emi Nakamura & Dawit Zerom, 2010. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1192-1230.
  28. 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 319-333, September.
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