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Author:Itskhoki, Oleg 

Discussion Paper
Why the Proposed Border Tax Adjustment Is Unlikely to Promote U.S. Exports

There has been much debate about the proposed border tax adjustment, in which U.S. firms would pay a 20 percent tax on all imported inputs and be exempt from paying taxes on export revenue. The view among many economists, including proponents of the plan, is that the U.S. dollar would appreciate by the full amount of the tax and thus completely offset any relative price effects. In this post, we consider the implications of an alternative scenario where the U.S. dollar only appreciates part of the way. This could happen, for example, as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the policy ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20170224

Report
International shocks and domestic prices: how large are strategic complementarities?

How strong are strategic complementarities in price setting across firms? In this paper, we provide a direct empirical estimate of firms? price responses to changes in prices of their competitors. We develop a general framework and an empirical identification strategy to estimate the elasticities of a firm?s price response both to its own cost shocks and to the price changes of its competitors. Our approach takes advantage of a new micro-level data set for the Belgian manufacturing sector, which contains detailed information on firm domestic prices, marginal costs, and competitor prices. The ...
Staff Reports , Paper 771

Discussion Paper
The Effect of Exchange Rate Shocks on Domestic Prices

Changes in exchange rates directly affect import prices. Since the beginning of 2014, the U.S. dollar has strengthened by 17 percent against the currencies of its major trading partners while import prices have fallen by 4 percent. The pass-through from exchange rates into import prices in the United States is estimated to be quite low, at around 30 percent, and this is often attributed to the fact that imports are mostly invoiced in U.S. dollars. In addition to this direct impact of exchange rates on import prices, there can also be an effect on domestic prices. Suppose that a stronger U.S. ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160330

Report
Importers, exporters, and exchange rate disconnect

Large exporters are simultaneously large importers. In this paper, we show that this pattern is key to understanding low aggregate exchange rate pass-through as well as the variation in pass-through across exporters. First, we develop a theoretical framework that combines variable markups due to strategic complementarities and endogenous choice to import intermediate inputs. The model predicts that firms with high import shares and high market shares have low exchange rate pass-through. Second, we test and quantify the theoretical mechanisms using Belgian firm-product-level data with ...
Staff Reports , Paper 586

Working Paper
In search of real rigidities

The closed and open economy literatures both work on evaluating the role of real rigidities, but in parallel. This paper brings the two literatures together. We use international price data and exchange rate shocks to evaluate the importance of real rigidities in price setting. We show that, consistent with the presence of real rigidities, the response of reset-price inflation to exchange rate shocks exhibits significant persistence. Individual import prices, conditional on changing, respond to exchange rate shocks prior to the last price change. At the same time, aggregate reset-price ...
Working Papers , Paper 10-9

Working Paper
Fiscal devaluations

The authors show that even when the exchange rate cannot be devalued, a small set of conventional fiscal policy instruments can robustly replicate the real allocations attained under a nominal exchange rate devaluation in a standard New Keynesian open economy environment. They perform the analysis under alternative pricing assumptions?producer or local currency pricing along with nominal wage stickiness, under alternative asset market structures, and for anticipated and unanticipated devaluations. There are two types of fiscal policies equivalent to an exchange rate devaluation: one, a ...
Working Papers , Paper 12-10

Discussion Paper
Why Hasn't the Yen Depreciation Spurred Japanese Exports?

The Japanese yen depreciated 30 percent from its peak in the fourth quarter of 2011 against its trading partners. This was expected to boost its exports as the lower yen makes Japanese goods more competitive on global markets. Instead, the volume of Japanese exports of goods actually fell by 0.6 percent over this same period, as can be seen in the chart below. Weaker external demand surely contributed to this poor export performance. Yet over the same period, U.S. goods exports grew by more than 6 percent, which suggests that other factors are also at play. In this post, we draw on our recent ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20140707

Discussion Paper
The Exchange Rate Disconnect

Why do large movements in exchange rates have small effects on international goods prices? This empirical regularity is a central puzzle in international macroeconomics. In a new study, we show that the key to understanding this exchange rate disconnect is to take into account that the largest exporters are also the largest importers. This is important because when exporters import their intermediate inputs, they face offsetting exchange rate effects on their marginal costs. For example, a depreciation of the euro relative to the U.S. dollar makes exports in U.S. dollars cheaper?but it also ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20130211

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