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Who’s Most Exposed to International Shocks? Estimating Differences in Import Price Sensitivity across U.S. Demographic Groups

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Working Paper Number CES-23-13


Differences in consumption expenditure patterns across demographic groups mean that international shocks can affect such groups very differently. In this paper, we construct import price indexes for U.S. consumer groups that vary by age, race, sex, education, and urban status. Some groups, such as Black consumers and college graduates, experienced significantly higher import price inflation over the 1996-2018 period compared to other groups, such as high school dropouts, rural consumers, and consumers over age 60. We find that the sensitivity of demographic groups to international shocks varies widely, implying that movements in the dollar and foreign producer price inflation, both during our sample and during the Covid-19 pandemic, produced significant, disparate effects on import price inflation rates–and total inflation–across these groups.

Page Last Revised - March 16, 2023
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