Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #448

The Transmission of Oil and Food Prices to Consumer Prices – Evidence for the MENA Countries

by Ansgar Belke and Christian Dreger

Universität Duisburg-Essen, 10/2013, 26 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-505-8 DOI: 10.4419/86788505

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Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of global oil and food price shocks to consumer prices in Middle East-North African (MENA) countries using threshold cointegration methods. Oil and food price shocks increase domestic prices in the long run, whereby the impact of food prices dominates. While global prices are weakly exogenous, consumer prices respond to deviations from the equilibrium relationship. The shortrun adjustment pattern exhibits asymmetries and is particularly strong after positive shocks. Downward rigidities on wages may play a crucial role in this regard, as the relatively weak reactions of consumer prices after negative shocks are related to labour market institutions and public subsidies. The more rigid the regulations the more pronounced are the asymmetries. Robustness checks show that international price shocks do not affect GDP growth.

JEL-Classification: C22, E31, Q02

Keywords: Oil and food price transmission; asymmetric error correction; MENA region

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