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Relative Purchasing Power Parity (RPPP)


Relative Purchasing Power Parity (RPPP) is a financial concept that insinuates the rate of inflation in one country should match the difference in exchange rates with another country. Essentially, it implies that a country with a higher inflation rate should see its currency depreciate compared to a country with a lower inflation rate. It’s used to explain and forecast long-term changes in exchange rates based on the given inflation rates of two countries.


The phonetics of the keyword “Relative Purchasing Power Parity (RPPP)” are:Relative: /ˈrɛlətɪv/Purchasing: /ˈpərCHəsiNG/Power: /ˈpou(-ə)r/Parity: /ˈperədē/RPPP: /ɑːr pi: pi: pi:/

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Relative Purchasing Power Parity (RPPP) is an economic concept that aims to estimate the adjustment needed on the exchange rate between countries in order for the exchange to be equivalent to each currency’s purchasing power. It is based on the Law of One Price, which states that a good should cost the same in all locations, regardless of currency.</li><li>RPPP predicts that the inflation differential between two countries would be offset by an equivalent change in the exchange rate. The idea is that the exchange rate should change in an equal but opposite direction to the difference in inflation rates, which aids in keeping the purchasing power of two currencies at par.</li><li>While RPPP provides a fundamental guide, it does not always hold true in reality due to factors such as transaction costs, tariffs and other barriers to trade, and differences in the basket of goods across countries. Thus, it is most applicable in the long-run when these distortions have been averaged out.</li></ol>


Relative Purchasing Power Parity (RPPP) is a crucial concept in business and finance because it aids in understanding the changes in exchange rates between two countries. It assists economists and investors in making informed decisions related to international trade and investment. By comparing the cost of a specific basket of goods and services across different countries, RPPP takes into account inflation rates and predicts future exchange rate movements. This concept helps in maintaining a balanced competitive environment in the international market, as it implies that the real purchasing power of a unit of currency would remain consistent in different nations, after adjusting for inflation rate differentials. Therefore, understanding RPPP is essential in forming strategies for international trade, investment, and economic forecasting.


Relative Purchasing Power Parity (RPPP) is a vital concept in international finance used to examine the effect of inflation on exchange rates and its implications for the purchasing power of different currencies. It’s based on the Law of One Price, which states that a good’s price should be the same worldwide, considering the exchange rates. By identifying deviations from this, RPPP can indicate whether a currency is undervalued or overvalied. This makes RPPP a crucial tool for businesses and economists to make informed decisions about investments and understand global economic shifts.Furthermore, RPPP serves as a basis for comparing living costs for individuals and corporations in different countries, leading to equitable international compensation policies for multinational corporations. Businesses can use RPPP to strategize their pricing for different markets and make informed sourcing decisions. Governments and economists can also apply the concept to predict long-term exchange rate movements, as RPPP proposes that these rates will adjust to neutralize inflation differentials between two countries. Thus, RPPP is an essential concept for understanding and navigating the intricacies of the international finance landscape.


1. Country Inflation Rates: In 2020, Argentina reported an inflation rate of about 36%, one of the highest in the world. Meanwhile, the US reported an inflation rate of just about 1.3%. According to the concept of RPPP, the high inflation in Argentina should lead to a depreciation of the Argentine peso relative to the US dollar. This is indeed observed as the Argentine peso depreciated significantly against the US dollar during this period, demonstrating the principle of RPPP in the forex market.2. Currency Devaluation in Venezuela: In the past decade, Venezuela has experienced hyperinflation, which has significantly decreased the value of its currency, the bolivar. Given the Relative Purchasing Power Parity, as the purchasing power of the bolivar decreases due to inflation, the exchange rate should adjust to reflect this. This means that fewer units of a foreign currency, such as the US dollar, would be required to purchase one bolivar. This is observed in reality, as the bolivar has seen a significant decrease in value relative to other currencies. 3. Japan and the U.S: In 2013, Japan implemented an economic policy, popularly known as “Abenomics,” which included a large monetary easing policy that resulted in an annual inflation rate of 1.4%. The United States, on the other hand, achieved an annual inflation rate around 1.5%. According to RPPP, the new Japanese economic policies would lead to an approximately similar inflation rate between the two countries which should, therefore, lead to stable exchange rates between the yen and dollar in the long run. This projection was supported by real-world data, where exchange rates were relatively stable, reflecting the fact that the inflation rate differential was near zero.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Relative Purchasing Power Parity (RPPP)?

RPPP is a branch of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) that suggests the inflation rates between two countries should be equal to the change in exchange rates over the same period. It takes into account the differences in inflation rates of two countries and implies that the country with a higher inflation rate should expect its currency to depreciate against the currency of a country with a lower inflation rate.

How is Relative Purchasing Power Parity different from Absolute Purchasing Power Parity?

While Absolute Purchasing Power Parity suggests a direct relationship between the costs of identical goods in two different countries, Relative Purchasing Power Parity focuses on the rate of inflation and its impact on exchange rates between those countries.

Why is RPPP important?

RPPP is particularly significant in international finance because it allows investors and financial analysts to predict future exchange rate movements based on inflation differentials. This helps in making informed investment decisions.

What is an example of Relative Purchasing Power Parity?

Suppose the inflation rate in the US is 5% and in Canada it is 2%. According to RPPP, the value of the US dollar should depreciate by around 3% against the Canadian dollar.

What factors can affect the accuracy of RPPP?

Numerous factors can impact the accuracy of RPPP including trade restrictions, taxes, differences in goods, non-traded goods, and differing consumption patterns. These elements could cause deviations from the RPPP.

Can RPPP predict exchange rates precisely?

While RPPP provides a theoretical framework for exchange rates influenced by inflation differences, it may not be able to predict precise rates due to multiple factors such as market intervention, monetary policy changes and economic and political instability. Therefore, it’s usually used as a long-term indicator rather than a short-term predictive tool.

Why might a country’s currency not depreciate despite having a higher inflation rate, contrary to RPPP’s prediction?

This can happen due to factors such as speculative foreign investment, changes in interest rates, and intervention by policymakers or central banks to stabilize the currency. RPPP is a theory and doesn’t account for all of these real-world factors.

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