NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Price Discrimination within and across EMU Markets: Evidence from French Exporters

François Fontaine, Julien Martin, Isabelle Mejean

NBER Working Paper No. 26246
Issued in September 2019
NBER Program(s):International Finance and Macroeconomics Program

We study the cross-sectional dispersion of prices paid by EMU importers for French products. We document a significant level of price dispersion both within product categories across exporters, and within exporters across buyers. This latter source of price discrepancies, sellers' price discrimination across buyers, is indicative of deviations from the law-of-one price. 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 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): 10.3386/w26246

Forthcoming: Price Discrimination within and across EMU Markets: Evidence from French Exporters, Francois Fontaine, Julien Martin, Isabelle Mejean. in NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2019, Forbes and Gourinchas. 2019

 
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