Econometric models for asymmetric price transmission

Authors: Frey G., Manera M.

Journal: Journal of Economic Surveys

Publisher: Blackwell

Year: 2007

Volume: 21

Pages: 349-415

Keywords: Cointegration, Meta-regression analysis, Partial adjustment, Price asymmetries, Threshold regime switching




In this paper, we review the existing empirical literature on price asymmetries in commodities, providing a way to classify and compare different studies that are highly heterogeneous in terms of econometric models, type of asymmetries and empirical findings. Relative to the previous literature, this paper is novel in several respects. First, it presents a detailed and updated survey of the existing empirical contributions on price asymmetries in the transmission mechanism linking input prices to output prices. Second, this paper presents an extension of the traditional distinction between long-run and short-run asymmetries to new categories of asymmetries, such as: contemporaneous impact, distributed lag effect, cumulated impact, reaction time, equilibrium and momentum equilibrium adjustment path, regime effect, regime equilibrium adjustment path. Each empirical study is then critically discussed in the light of this new classification of asymmetries. Third, this paper evaluates the relative merits of the most popular econometric models for price asymmetries, namely autoregressive distributed lags, partial adjustments, error correction models, regime switching and vector autoregressive models. Finally, we use the meta-regression analysis to investigate whether the results of asymmetry tests are not model-invariant and find which additional factors systematically influence the rejection of the null hypothesis of symmetric price adjustment. The main results of our survey can be summarized as follows: (i) each econometric model is specialized to capture a subset of asymmetries; (ii) each asymmetry is better investigated by a subset of econometric models; (iii) the general significance of the F test for asymmetric price transmission depends mainly on characteristics of the data, dynamic specification of the econometric model, and market characteristics. Overall, our empirical findings confirm that asymmetry, in all its forms, is very likely to occur in a wide range of markets and econometric models.