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Dynamic pricing and asymmetries in retail gasoline markets: What can they tell us about price stickiness?

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  • Douglas, Christopher C.
  • Herrera, Ana María
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    Abstract

    Theoretical explanations for price stickiness used in businesses cycle models are diverse (e.g., information processing delays, rational inattention and fair pricing), with each theory resulting in a different implication for inflation dynamics. Using an autoregressive conditional binomial model and a data set consisting of daily observations of price and cost for 15 Philadelphia retail gasoline stations, we test which of these theories is most consistent with the observed pattern of price adjustment. Our findings of time dependence, asymmetry and the role of cost volatility are consistent with a combination of fairness considerations and rational inattention by producers.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

    Volume (Year): 122 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 247-252

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:122:y:2014:i:2:p:247-252

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

    Related research

    Keywords: Sticky prices; Price adjustment; Gasoline prices; Discrete valued time series;

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    1. Severin Boreinstein & Andrea Shepard, 1996. "Dynamic Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 429-451, Autumn.
    2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1998. "Sticky price models of the business cycle: can the contract multiplier solve the persistence problem?," Staff Report 217, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    3. Baillie, Richard T. & Osterberg, William P., 1997. "Why do central banks intervene?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 909-919, December.
    4. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," NBER Working Papers 11820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michael C. Davis & James D. Hamilton, 2003. "Why Are Prices Sticky? The Dynamics of Wholesale Gasoline Prices," NBER Working Papers 9741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sims, Christopher A., 1992. "Interpreting the macroeconomic time series facts : The effects of monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 975-1000, June.
    9. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2011. "Fair Pricing," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 952-981, October.
    10. Severin Borenstein & Andrea Shepard, 1996. "Sticky Prices, Inventories, and Market Power in Wholesale Gasoline Markets," NBER Working Papers 5468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King, 2006. "Pricing, Production, and Persistence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 893-928, 09.
    12. Borenstein, Severin & Cameron, A Colin & Gilbert, Richard, 1997. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 305-39, February.
    13. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 517-31, October.
    14. Christopher Douglas & Ana Mar�a Herrera, 2010. "Why are gasoline prices sticky? A test of alternative models of price adjustment," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6), pages 903-928.
    15. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
    16. Michael C. Davis, 2007. "The dynamics of daily retail gasoline prices," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 713-722.
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