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Law of One Price, Distance, and Borders

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  • Borraz, Fernando
  • Zipitría, Leandro

Abstract

We propose a decomposition of the border effect in international trade by controlling for differences in competition in local markets. An extension of the Hotelling (1929) model shows that the availability of local substitutes increases price dispersion and biases the estimation of the border effect. We test these predictions using detailed price database at the supermarket level for Uruguay. This stylized setting makes it possible to control for other potential explanations of the border effect (i.e., exchange rates, taxes, or transport costs). We find that for those goods without local competitors the border estimation increases substantially, while for those goods that do have local competitors the effect of border is negligible. As the literature suggests, results should be even larger for different countries than for different cities. The methodology developed in the paper allows a finer explanation for understanding the relevance of borders in price dispersion.

Suggested Citation

  • Borraz, Fernando & Zipitría, Leandro, 2017. "Law of One Price, Distance, and Borders," GLO Discussion Paper Series 87, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:87
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2008. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does it Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 863-904.
    2. Fernando Borraz & Alberto Cavallo & Roberto Rigobon & Leandro Zipitria, 2016. "Distance and Political Boundaries: Estimating Border Effects under Inequality Constraints," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 3-35, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Alberto Cavallo, 2017. "Are Online and Offline Prices Similar? Evidence from Large Multi-channel Retailers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 283-303, January.
    5. Janet Ceglowski, 2003. "The law of one price: intranational evidence for Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 373-400, May.
    6. MarioJ. Crucini & Mototsugu Shintani & Takayuki Tsuruga, 2010. "The Law of One Price without the Border: The Role of Distance versus Sticky Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 462-480, May.
    7. Fernando Borraz & Leandro Zipitría & Enrique López Enciso, 2013. "Price Setting in Retailing: the Case of Uruguay," Investigación Conjunta-Joint Research,in: Laura Inés D'Amato & Enrique López Enciso & María Teresa Ramírez Giraldo (ed.), Inflationary Dynamics, Persistence, and Prices and Wages Formation, edition 1, chapter 9, pages 193-220 Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
    8. Irmen, Andreas & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1998. "Competition in Multi-characteristics Spaces: Hotelling Was Almost Right," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 76-102, January.
    9. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price Without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1211-1236.
    10. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "Border Effect or Country Effect? Seattle May Not Be So Far from Vancouver After All," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 219-241, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    border effect; price dispersion; competition;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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