Trade integration, competition, and the decline in exchange-rate pass-through
Over the past twenty years, U.S. import prices have become less responsive to the exchange rate. We propose that a significant portion of this decline is a result of increased trade integration. To illustrate this effect, we develop an open economy DGE model in which trade occurs along both the intensive and extensive margins. The key element we introduce into this environment is strategic complementarity in price setting. As a result, a firm's pricing decision depends on the prices set by its competitors. This feature implies that a foreign exporter finds it optimal to vary its markup in ...
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 ...
What's behind volatile import prices from China?
In a sharp departure from earlier trends, the price of U.S. imports from China rose 6 percent in the 2006-08 period. To explore the forces behind this surprising increase, the authors create a new import index that uses highly disaggregated data to track price developments in different product types. The index reveals that the largest price increases were concentrated in industrial supplies - goods that rely heavily on commodity inputs. The authors conclude that the surge in commodity prices through mid-2008 was the primary driver of the rising import prices from China.
Heterogeneous firms and import quality: evidence from transaction-level prices
A key emerging insight in international economics is that the scope for quality differentiation can help to explain patterns in export prices at the level of products or firms. In this paper, a unified theoretical framework of firm heterogeneity in cost and quality is brought to bear on an expansive data set of U.S. import transaction prices collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The higher moments of the price distribution are used to identify the scope for quality differentiation at the detailed product level; highly differentiated products account for about half of U.S. import ...
The parts are more than the whole: separating goods and services to predict core inflation
Economists have not been altogether successful in their efforts to forecast ?core? inflation?an inflation measure that typically excludes volatile food and energy prices. One possible explanation is that the models used to make these forecasts fail to distinguish the forces influencing price changes in core services from those affecting price changes in core goods. While core services inflation depends on long-run inflation expectations and the degree of slack in the labor market, core goods inflation depends on short-run inflation expectations and import prices. By using a composite model ...
Exchange rate pass-through to import prices in the Euro area
This paper presents an empirical analysis of transmission rates from exchange rate movements to import prices, across countries and product categories, in the euro area over the last fifteen years. Our results show that the transmission of exchange rate changes to import prices in the short run is high, although incomplete, and that it differs across industries and countries; in the long run, exchange rate pass-through is higher and close to 1. We do not find compelling evidence that the introduction of the euro caused a structural change in exchange rate pass-through. Although some estimated ...
Have U.S. import prices become less responsive to changes in the dollar?
The failure of the dollar's depreciation to narrow the U.S. trade deficit has driven recent research showing that the transmission of exchange rate changes to import prices has declined sharply in industrial countries. Estimates presented in this study, however, suggest that "pass-through" to U.S. import prices has fallen only modestly, if at all, in the last decade. The authors argue that methodological changes in the collection of import data and the inclusion of commodity prices in pass-through models may have contributed to earlier findings of low pass-through rates.
The adjustment of global external balances: does partial exchange rate pass-through to trade prices matter?
This paper assesses whether partial exchange rate pass-through to trade prices has important implications for the prospective adjustment of global external imbalances. To address this question, we develop and estimate an open-economy DGE model in which pass-through is incomplete due to the presence of local currency pricing, distribution services, and a variable demand elasticity that leads to fluctuations in optimal markups. We find that the overall magnitude of trade adjustment is similar in a low and high pass-through world with more adjustment in a low pass-world occurring through a ...
U.S.economic policy in a global context
Remarks by President Dudley at the Foreign Policy Association Corporate Dinner, New York City.
Buy foreign while you can: the cheap dollar and exchange rate pass-through
Despite the dollar?s real depreciation in the past few years, the U.S. trade deficit has continued to increase, with the level of imports reaching record highs. Why has the cheaper dollar not made imports more expensive and exports more attractive and, in turn, reduced the trade deficit? ; This article presents evidence on the degree of exchange rate pass-through (ERPT)?the extent to which U.S. domestic import prices have moved in response to changes in the exchange rate?from December 1993 through December 2004. Using monthly data, the authors first decompose domestic import prices to their ...