Pricing to Habits and the Law of One Price

16 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2007

See all articles by Morten O. Ravn

Morten O. Ravn

European University Institute - Economics Department (ECO); London Business School - Department of Economics; University of Southampton; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Martín Uribe

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: January 2007

Abstract

This paper proposes a novel international transmission mechanism based on the assumption of deep habits. The term deep habits stands for a preference specification according to which consumers form habits on a good-by-good basis. Under deep habits, firms face more elastic demand functions in markets where nonhabitual demand is high relative to habitual demand, creating an incentive to price discriminate. We refer to this type of price discrimination as pricing to habits. In the presence of pricing to habits, innovations to domestic aggregate demand induce a decline in markups in the domestic country but not abroad, leading to a departure from the law of one price. In this way, the proposed pricing-to-habit mechanism can explain the observation that prices of the same good across countries, expressed in the same currency, vary over the business cycle. Furthermore, it can account for the empirical fact that in response to a positive domestic demand shock, such as an increase in government spending, the real exchange rate depreciates, domestic consumption expands, and the trade balance deteriorates.

Keywords: Countercyclical markup, deep habits, government spending, Law of one price, real exchange rate

Suggested Citation

Ravn, Morten O. and Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie and Uribe, Martin, Pricing to Habits and the Law of One Price (January 2007). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 6030, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=996719

Morten O. Ravn (Contact Author)

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Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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Martin Uribe

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics ( email )

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