Operating exposure to foreign exchange risk and exchange rate pass-through are investigated in the context of a Cournot model of equilibrium in a homogeneous product market, i.e. an industry populated by N firms, which compete exclusively on the basis of quantities produced/marketed and where each firm optimizes its decision based on expectations regarding the actions of its rivals that in fact eventuate. Whereas one firm sources its product domestically, the remaining N−1 firms source their product in a foreign country. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
By invoking two simplifying assumptions, namely, constant marginal cost functions and a linear inverted demand curve, and then deriving the Cournot equilibrium, this paper obtains clear implications regarding the effect of a currency devaluation on the competitive positions of the industry’s N constituent firms as well as the pass-through effect on the industry price.
The N−1 firms that source the homogeneous product from a foreign country, which experiences a devaluation, gain, while the single competing firm that sources domestically loses, both market share and profit. Formulas are derived which elucidate this intuitive result. The extent of exchange rate pass-through on the resulting equilibrium price is gauged to be incomplete, consistent with extant empirical evidence. As the number of firms increases, the extent of exchange rate pass-through likewise increases, approaching a limiting situation of complete pass-through.
This paper is the first to examine the issues of exchange rate operating exposure and pass-through in the context of a Cournot model of competition, under the indicated two simplifying assumptions.
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