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Using comprehensive, shipment-level merchandise trade data, we examine the extent to which New Zealand exporters maintain stable New Zealand dollar prices by passing on exchange rate changes to foreign customers. We find that the extent to which firms absorb exchange rate fluctuations in the short run is significantly related to both invoice currency choice and exporter characteristics when these are analysed separately. However, when jointly accounted for, the role of exporter characteristics largely disappears. That is, some firm types are more inclined to invoice in the New Zealand dollar, while others use either the importer or a third currency. In the short run, this translates into differences in exchange rate pass through because of price rigidity in the invoice currency. Differences across invoice currencies diminish, but do not disappear, over time as prices adjust to reflect bilateral exchange rate movements.
The authors wish to thank Statistics New Zealand for access to the data, Sophie Joyce for extremely able research assistance, and David Oxley, Enzo Cassino, Ilan Noy and Benjamin Mandel for feedback on the paper. Richard Fabling gratefully acknowledges funding from the New Zealand Treasury.
The views, opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Working Paper are strictly those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury or the New Zealand Government. The New Zealand Treasury and the New Zealand Government take no responsibility for any errors or omissions in, or for the correctness of, the information contained in these working papers. The paper is presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.
This paper was undertaken while the authors were on secondment to Statistics New Zealand. The results in this paper are not official statistics, they have been created for research purposes from the Integrated Data Infrastructure prototype (IDI) managed by Statistics NZ. The opinions, findings, recommendations and conclusions expressed in this paper are those of the authors. Statistics NZ, the New Zealand Treasury, and Motu take no responsibility for any omissions or errors in the information contained here.
Access to the data used in this study was provided by Statistics NZ in accordance with security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. Only people authorised by the Statistics Act 1975 are allowed to see data about a particular person, business or organisation. The results in this paper have been confidentialised to protect individual people and businesses from identification.
Careful consideration has been given to the privacy, security and confidentiality issues associated with using administrative data in the IDI. Further detail can be found in the Privacy Impact Assessment for the IDI available from www.stats.govt.nz.
The results are based in part on tax data supplied by Inland Revenue to Statistics NZ under the Tax Administration Act 1994. This tax data must be used only for statistical purposes, and no individual information may be published or disclosed in any other form, or provided to Inland Revenue for administrative or regulatory purposes. Any person who has had access to the unit-record data has certified that they have been shown, have read, and have understood section 81 of the Tax Administration Act 1994, which relates to privacy and confidentiality. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the IDI for statistical purposes, and is not related to the data’s ability to support Inland Revenue’s core operational requirements.
Statistics New Zealand protocols were applied to the data sourced from the New Zealand Customs Service. Any discussion of data limitations is not related to the data’s ability to support these government agencies’ core operational requirements.