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2013 Documento de Trabajo #303

Structural Estimation of Price Adjustment Costs in the European Car Market

This paper characterizes the price adjustment costs that are consistent with observed price dynamics in the European car market. Using the methodology developed by Bajari, Benkard, and Levin (2007), I estimate a dynamic model of international multiproduct firms that set prices in different currencies while facing price adjustment costs. There are three main results. First, the incomplete degree of exchange rate pass-through can be explained by a sizable destination-currency cost component. Second, large price adjustment costs are not needed to rationalize the large degree of price inertia in a highly autocorrelated economic environment. In fact, small adjustment costs can rationalize the persistent prices observed. Third, the paper identi.es an unexplored temporal dimension of «pricing-to-market» behavior, that is the practice of setting prices differently across segmented markets. Estimates of the price adjustment cost suggest that a uniform cost structure is not consistent with the pricing behavior observed.

JEL Classification: F10, F31, L11, L16.

Carlos Noton

Keywords: Exchange rate pass-through, price adjustment costs., structural estimation