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Sales and Monetary Policy

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  • Bernardo Guimaraes
  • Kevin D. Sheedy

Abstract

A striking fact about pricing is the prevalence of "sales": large temporary price cuts followed by prices returning to exactly their former levels. This paper builds a macroeconomic model with a rationale for sales based on firms facing customers with different price sensitivities. Even if firms can adjust sales without cost, monetary policy has large real effects owing to sales being strategic substitutes: a firm's incentive to have a sale is decreasing in the number of other firms having sales. Thus the flexibility seen in individual prices due to sales does not translate into flexibility of the aggregate price level. (JEL E13, E31, E52, L11, L25, L81, M31)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 844-76

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:2:p:844-76

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  1. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2007. "A framework for identifying the sources of local currency price stability with an empirical application," Staff Reports 287, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2008. "Temporary price changes and the real effects of monetary policy," Working Papers 413, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Kevin Sheedy & Bernardo Guimaraes, 2009. "Sales and Monetary Policy," 2009 Meeting Papers 365, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Tack Yun & Andrew Levin, 2009. "Reconsidering the Microeconomic Foundations of Price-Setting Behavior," 2009 Meeting Papers 798, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2008. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 863-904, August.
  6. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
  7. Salop, S & Stiglitz, J E, 1982. "The Theory of Sales: A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Identical Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1121-30, December.
  8. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
  9. Emi Nakamura & Jon Steinsson, 2005. "Price Setting in a Forward-Looking Customer Market," Macroeconomics 0509010, EconWPA.
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