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Non-linear adjustment in law of one price deviations and physical characteristics of goods

Berka, Martin (2006): Non-linear adjustment in law of one price deviations and physical characteristics of goods. Forthcoming in: Review of International Economics

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Abstract

At a level of individual goods, heterogeneity of marginal transaction costs, proxied by price-to-weight ratios and stowage factors, explains a large part of the variation in thresholds of no-adjustment and conditional half-lives of law of one price deviations. Prices of heavier more voluminous) goods deviate further before becoming mean-reverting. Moreover, after becoming mean-reverting, prices of heavier goods converge more slowly. Together with measures of pricing power, market size, distance and exchange rate volatility, these factors explain up to 43% of variation in no-adjustment threshold estimates across 52 goods in US-Canada post Bretton Woods monthly CPI data and are robust in a broader 5-country dataset. They open two avenues for the importance of marginal transaction costs in accounting for real exchange rate persistence: through (a) generating persistence in individual real exchange rate components, and (b) accentuating it by the process of aggregation of heterogeneous components (”aggregation bias” of Imbs, et al. 2005).

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