CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale
Price Convergence in the European Union: Within Firms or Composition of Firms?

Isabelle Méjean
Cyrille Schwellnus

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 Abstract :
In this paper we use data on French export prices at the disaggregated firm and product level to evaluate the effect of economic integration on price convergence. We use the European integration ‘experiment’ and firm-level data on export prices to distinguish between two possible margins of adjustment: At the intensive margin economic integration induces different pricing strategies within the firm, whereas at the extensive margin it affects the composition of firms with different pricing strategies. In our sample price convergence is 40 percent faster in the European Union than in an appropriately defined control group. 30 percent of this effect can be attributed to the fact that a higher share of firms with a low propensity to price discriminate serve European markets.

 Keywords : Price convergence | Firms heterogeneity | European integration

 JEL : F12, F33, F40
CEPII Working Paper
N°2009-03, March 2009

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