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Export basket and the effects of exchange rates on exports–why Switzerland is special
Why has Swiss export performance been so strong during the past quarters despite the strong appreciation of the CHF? In this paper, we use historical data on exchange rates and trade at the sectoral level to document that a contributing factor behind the limited impact of the exchange rate is the unique composition of Swiss exports. In particular, we document that the Swiss export basket is heavily concentrated in price-insensitive goods such as machinery or pharmaceuticals, where prices and thus the exchange rate have relatively little importance for demand. This makes the aggregate volume ...
We document that in the European car industry, exchange rate pass-through is larger for low than for high quality cars. To rationalize this pattern, we develop a model of quality pricing and international trade based on the preferences of Mussa and Rosen (1978). Firms sell goods of heterogeneous quality to consumers that differ in their willingness to pay for quality. Each firm produces a unique quality of the good and enjoys local market power, which depends on the prices and qualities of its closest competitors. The market power of a firm depends on the prices and qualities of its direct ...
The speed of exchange rate pass-through
On January 15, 2015, the Swiss National Bank terminated its minimum exchange rate policy of one euro against 1.2 Swiss francs. This policy shift resulted in a sharp, unanticipated and permanent appreciation of the Swiss franc by more than 11% against the euro. We analyze the exchange rate pass-through into import unit values of this shock at the daily frequency using Swiss transaction-level trade data. Our key findings are twofold. First, for goods invoiced in euro the pass-through is immediate and complete. This finding is consistent with no systematic nominal price adjustment in this subset ...
Current Account Adjustment and Retained Earnings
This paper develops a formal strategy to calculate current accounts with retained earnings (RE) on equity investment and analyzes their adjustment during the global financial crisis. RE are the part of companies' profits which are reinvested and not distributed to shareholders as dividends. International statistical standards treat RE on foreign direct investment and RE on portfolio investment differently: while the former enter the current and financial account, the latter do not. We show that this differential treatment strongly affects current accounts of several advanced economies, ...