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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2016||On What States Do Prices Depend? Answers From Ecuador|
with Craig Benedict, Mario J. Crucini: w22506
In this paper, we argue that differences in the cost structure across sectors play an important role in the decision of firms to adjust their prices. We develop a menu-cost model of pricing in which retail firms intermediate trade between producers and consumers. An important facet of our analysis is that the labor-cost share of retail production differs across goods and services in the consumption basket. For example, the price of gasoline at the retail pump is predicted to adjust more frequently and by more than the price of a haircut due to the high volatility in wholesale gasoline prices relative to the wages of unskilled labor, even when both retailers face a common menu cost. This modeling approach allows us to account for some of the cross-sectional differences observed in the frequ...
|February 2012||Accounting for Real Exchange Rates Using Micro-data|
with Mario J. Crucini: w17812
The classical dichotomy predicts that all of the time series variance in the aggregate real exchange rate is accounted for by non-traded goods in the CPI basket because traded goods obey the Law of One Price. In stark contrast, Engel (1999) found that traded goods had comparable volatility to the aggregate real exchange rate. Our work reconciles these two views by successfully applying the classical dichotomy at the level of intermediate inputs into the production of final goods using highly disaggregated retail price data. Since the typical good found in the CPI basket is about equal parts traded and non-traded inputs, we conclude that the classical dichotomy applied to intermediate inputs restores its conceptual value.