Retailers and Consumers: The Pass‐Through of Import Price Changes
31 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 2017
In this paper, we estimate pass‐through rates of import price changes to retail prices across retailers and consumers for apparel purchases in Germany for the period of 2000–07. We find that high‐price retailers do not pass through changes in the import price. Pass‐through rates for low‐price retailers are 53 per cent within three months. Consequently, pass‐through rates for low‐income households are 58 per cent, significantly larger than those for high‐income households. We then present one possible explanation for these observations in a theoretical model with endogenous vertical product differentiation due to bundling an ex ante homogeneous import goods with services. Following an import price change, retailers who sell a cheaper unbundled product change prices to a greater extent than retailers who sell a higher‐priced bundle of product and service.
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