Publications by Year: 2011

2011
Fabinger, Michal, Gita Gopinath, and Oleg Itskhoki. 2011. “Price Dynamics for Durable Goods”.
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Slides

Gopinath, Gita, and Oleg Itskhoki. 2011. “In Search of Real Rigidities.” NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010. Vol. 25. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25 Abstract

The closed and open economy literatures work on estimating real rigidities, but in parallel. We bring the two literatures together to shed light on this question. 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 depicts 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 inflation for imports, like that for consumer prices, depicts little persistence. Competitors prices effect firm pricing and exchange rate pass-through into import prices are greater in response to trade-weighted as opposed to bilateral exchange rate changes. We quantitatively evaluate sticky price models (Calvo and menu cost) with variable markups at the wholesale level and constant markups at the retail level, consistent with empirical evidence. Variable markups alone generate sluggishness in price adjustment and increase the size of the contract multiplier, but their effects are modest.

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Gopinath, Gita, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, Chang-Tai Hsieh, and Nicholas Li. 2011. “International Prices, Costs and Mark-up differences.” American Economic Review 101 (6): 2450–86. DOI:10.1257/aer.101.6.2450 Abstract
Relative cross-border retail prices, in a common currency, comove closely with the nominal exchange rate. Using product-level prices and wholesale costs from a grocery chain operating in the United States and Canada, we decompose this variation into relative costs and markup components. The high correlation of nominal and real exchange rates is driven mainly by changes in relative costs. National borders segment markets. Retail prices respond to changes in costs in neighboring stores within the same country but not across the border. Prices have a median discontinuous change of 24 percent at the border and 0 percent at state boundaries. (JEL F31, L11, L81)
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Previously circulated under the title "Estimating the Border Effect: Some New Evidence".