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Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Staff Reports
Who bears the cost of a change in the exchange rate? The case of imported beer
Rebecca Hellerstein
Abstract

This paper quantifies the welfare effects of a change in the nominal exchange rate using the example of the beer market. I estimate a structural econometric model that makes it possible to compute manufacturers' and retailers' pass-through of a nominal exchange-rate change, without observing wholesale prices or firms' marginal costs. I conduct counterfactual experiments to quantify how the change affects domestic and foreign firms' profits and domestic consumer welfare. The counterfactual experiments show that foreign manufacturers bear more of the cost of an exchange-rate change than do domestic consumers, domestic manufacturers, or a domestic retailer. The model can be applied to other markets and can serve as a tool to assess the welfare effects of various exchange-rate policies.


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Rebecca Hellerstein, Who bears the cost of a change in the exchange rate? The case of imported beer, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Staff Reports 179, 2004.
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Keywords: Beer industry ; Foreign exchange rates ; Corporate profits ; Economic conditions ; Economic policy
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