Real exchange rates and the relative prices of non-traded and traded goods: an empirical analysis

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 28 June 2004

Working Paper No. 223
By Jan J J Groen and Clare Lombardelli

This paper provides an empirical analysis of the decomposition of UK real exchange rates into the relative price of traded goods and the ratio of the relative price of non-traded to traded goods, and tests the prediction that deviations from the law of one price in tradable goods dominate real exchange rate variability only in the short run. UK bilateral real exchange rates are examined relative to a sample of six main OECD partners. The existence of a long-run relationship between real exchange rates and these corresponding relative price ratios is analysed using cointegrated vector autoregressive models. These show only limited evidence of a cointegrating relationship. The paper quantifies the severity of the deviations from the law of one price, and shows that these deviations are persistent relative to the length of the sample period. This motivates the use of a multi-country panel cointegration-testing framework, which produces evidence of a long-run relationship between the real exchange rate and the non-tradable component.

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