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Explaining product price differences across countries

Author: Robert E Lipsey; Birgitta Swedenborg; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 13239.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A substantial part of international differences in prices of individual products, both goods and services, can be explained by differences in per capita income, wage compression, or low wage dispersion among low-wage workers, and short-term exchange rate fluctuations. Higher per capita income is associated with higher prices and higher wage dispersion with lower prices. The effects of higher income and wage  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Robert E Lipsey; Birgitta Swedenborg; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 153918823
Description: 1 online resource (1 volume).
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 13239.
Responsibility: Robert E. Lipsey, Birgitta Swedenborg.

Abstract:

A substantial part of international differences in prices of individual products, both goods and services, can be explained by differences in per capita income, wage compression, or low wage dispersion among low-wage workers, and short-term exchange rate fluctuations. Higher per capita income is associated with higher prices and higher wage dispersion with lower prices. The effects of higher income and wage dispersion are moderated for the more tradable products. The effects of wage dispersion, on the other hand, are magnified for the more labor-intensive products, particularly low-skill services. The differences in prices across countries are reflected in differences in the composition of consumption. Countries in which prices of labor-intensive services are very high, such as the Nordic countries, consume much less of them. For some services, the shares of GDP consumed in high-price countries are less than 20 percent of the shares in low-price countries. Since these are services of very low tradability, the low consumption levels of these services imply low employment in them.

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