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Yesterday's Bad Times Are Today's Good Old Times: Retail Price Changes Are More Frequent Today Than in the 1890s

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  • ALAN KACKMEISTER

Abstract

This paper documents differences in the nominal rigidity of retail prices across two 28-month periods: 1889-91 and 1997-99. The most striking finding is that prices changed much less frequently in 1889-91. In the late-1800s when price changes did occur they were smaller on average and more narrowly distributed with fewer small or large price changes. Further, price changes were more permanent 100-plus years ago. These differences are consistent with a high occurrence of temporary price shocks and a higher cost of changing prices in 1889-91 than in 1997-99. Copyright 2007 The Ohio State University.

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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 39 (2007)
Issue (Month): 8 (December)
Pages: 1987-2020

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:39:y:2007:i:8:p:1987-2020

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Frederick C. Mills, 1927. "Introduction to "The Behavior of Prices"," NBER Chapters, in: The Behavior of Prices, pages 31-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Álvarez, Luis J. & Dhyne, Emmanuel & Hoeberichts, Marco & Kwapil, Claudia & Le Bihan, Hervé & Lünnemann, Patrick & Martins, Fernando & Sabbatini, Roberto & Stahl, Harald & Vermeulen, Philip & Vilmu, 2006. "Sticky prices in the euro area: a summary of new micro evidence," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,02, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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  5. Knotek II, Edward S., 2008. "Convenient prices, currency, and nominal rigidity: Theory with evidence from newspaper prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 1303-1316, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Levy & Sourav Ray & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Mark Bergen, 2007. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment in the Small," Emory Economics 0703, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  2. Edward S. Knotek II, 2005. "Convenient prices, currency, and nominal rigidity : theory with evidence from newspaper prices," Research Working Paper RWP 05-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  3. 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.
  4. Ross D. Hickey & David S. Jacks, 2010. "Nominal Rigidities and Retail Price Dispersion in Canada over the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 16098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alberto Cavallo & Roberto Rigobon, 2011. "The Distribution of the Size of Price Changes," NBER Working Papers 16760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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