Competition, globalization, and the decline of inflation

Chen, N, Imbs, J and Scott, A (2004) Competition, globalization, and the decline of inflation. Working Paper. London Business School Economics Discussion Paper Series.


We investigate theoretically and empirically the competitive effects of increased trade on prices, productivity and markups. Using disaggregated data for EU manufacturing over the period 19882000 we find increased openness exerts a negative and significant impact on sectoral prices. Increased openness lowers prices by both reducing markups and raising productivity. In response to an increase in openness, markups show a steep short run decline, which partly reverses later, while productivity rises in a manner that increases over time. Our estimates suggest that EU manufacturing prices fell by 2.3 percent, productivity rose by 11 percent and markups fell by 1.6 percent in response to the observed increase in manufacturing imports. The direct price restraint caused by greater imports, assuming unchanged monetary policy, can explain a fall in inflation of up to 0.14 percent per annum. However the most substantial impact on inflation arises from the role of lower markups in reducing the inflation bias of monetary policy. Our results suggest that increased trade could account for as much as a quarter of European disinflation over this period.

More Details

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Subject Areas: Economics
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2023 15:22
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2023 01:51

Export and Share


Submitted Version - Text


Downloads from LBS Research Online

View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item