Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based-Stabilizations
51 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2000 Last revised: 18 Oct 2010
Date Written: August 2000
This paper studies the role played by the distribution sector in shaping the behavior of the real exchange rate during exchange-rate-based-stabilizations. We use data for the U.S. and Argentina to document the importance of distribution margins in retail prices and disaggregated price data to study price dynamics in the aftermath of Argentina's 1991 Convertibility plan. Distribution services require local labor and land so they drive a natural wedge between retail prices in different countries. We study in detail the impact of introducing a distribution sector in an otherwise standard model of exchange-rate-based-stabilizations. We show that this simple extension improves dramatically the ability of the model to rationalize observed real exchange rate dynamics.
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