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Price Discrimination within and across EMU Markets: Evidence from French Exporters

François Fontaine, Julien Martin, Isabelle Mejean


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2019, Kristin Forbes and Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, organizers
Conference held June 27–28, 2019
Forthcoming from Elsevier, Journal of International Economics
in NBER Book Series NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics

We study the cross-sectional dispersion of prices paid by EMU importers for French products. We document a significant level of dispersion in unit values both within product categories across exporters, and within exporters across buyers. This latter source of price discrepancies, which we call price discrimination, reflects the ability of exporters to sell similar or differentiated varieties of a given product at different prices to different buyers. Price discrimination (i) is substantial within the EU, within the euro area, and within EMU countries; (ii) has not decreased over the last two decades; (iii) is more prevalent among the largest firms and for more differentiated products; (iv) is lower among retailers and wholesalers; (v) is also observed within almost perfectly homogenous product categories, which suggests that a non-negligible share of price discrimination is partly triggered by heterogeneous markups rather than quality or composition effects. We then estimate a rich statistical decomposition of the variance of prices to shed light on exporters' pricing strategies.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinteco.2020.103300

This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w26246, Price Discrimination within and across EMU Markets: Evidence from French Exporters, François Fontaine, Julien Martin, Isabelle Mejean
 
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