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How Firms Construct Price Changes: Evidence from Restaurant Responses to Increased Minimum Wages

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  • James M. MacDonald
  • Daniel Aaronson

Abstract

We use price data underlying the Consumer Price Index to assess how restaurants, whose prices are generally quite sticky, respond to minimum wage increases. Aggregate prices rise, quickly, by amounts reflecting the increase in costs, and they rise more among fast food outlets and in low-wage locations. But restaurants do not construct price increases by raising all their prices by amounts reflecting the increase in wages. Instead, they raise only some prices, but by larger amounts. Prices at cluster points are less likely to be changed, and prices that were recently increased (decreased) are less (more) likely to be raised. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-8276.2006.00859.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 292-307

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:88:y:2006:i:2:p:292-307

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References

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  1. Michael B. Ward & Jay P. Shimshack & Jeffrey M. Perloff & J. Michael Harris, 2002. "Effects of the Private-Label Invasion in Food Industries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(4), pages 961-973.
  2. Daniel Aaronson & Eric French, 2007. "Product Market Evidence on the Employment Effects of the Minimum Wage," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 167-200.
  3. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
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  5. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 1996. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Labor and Demography 9603001, EconWPA, revised 21 May 1996.
  6. Anil K Kashyap, 1994. "Sticky Prices: New Evidence from Retail Catalogs," NBER Working Papers 4855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap & Peter E. Rossi, 2000. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," NBER Working Papers 7981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bart Hobijn & Andrea Tanbalotti & Federico Ravenna, 2005. "Menu Costs at Work: Restaurant Prices and the Introduction of the Euro," 2005 Meeting Papers 659, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Heterogeneity in Price Rigidity: Evidence from a Case Study Using Micro-Level Data," Macroeconomics 0402021, EconWPA.
  10. Saul Lach & Daniel Tsiddon, 1994. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multipro-duct Firms," NBER Working Papers 4759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 2005. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," Macroeconomics 0505012, EconWPA.
  12. Dennis W. Carlton, 1987. "The Rigidity of Prices," NBER Working Papers 1813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hall, Simon & Walsh, Mark & Yates, Anthony, 2000. "Are UK Companies' Prices Sticky?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 425-46, July.
  15. Daniel Aaronson, 2001. "Price Pass-Through And The Minimum Wage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 158-169, February.
  16. Daniel Aaronson & Eric French & James MacDonald, 2008. "The Minimum Wage, Restaurant Prices, and Labor Market Structure," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 688-720.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cotti, Chad & Tefft, Nathan, 2013. "Fast food prices, obesity, and the minimum wage," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 134-147.
  2. Cabral, Luís & Fishman, Arthur, 2012. "Business as usual: A consumer search theory of sticky prices and asymmetric price adjustment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 371-376.
  3. David O. Meltzer & Zhuo Chen, 2011. "The Impact of Minimum Wage Rates on Body Weight in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 17-34 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jonathan Wadsworth, 2009. "Did the National Minimum Wage Affect UK Prices?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0947, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Denis FOUGERE & Erwan GAUTIER & Hervé LE BIHAN, 2009. "Restaurant Prices and the Minimum Wage," Working Papers 2009-13, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Heidhues, Paul & Koszegi, Botond, 2014. "Regular prices and sales," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(1), January.
  7. Erwan Gautier, 2009. "Les ajustements microéconomiques des prix : une synthèse des modèles théoriques et résultats empiriques," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 0(3), pages 323-372.
  8. Luis Eduardo Arango & Luz Karine Ardila & Miguel Ignacio Gömez, . "Efecto del cambio del salario mínimo en el precio de las comidas fuera del hogar en Colombia," Borradores de Economia 584, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  9. Daniel Aaronson & Eric French & James MacDonald, 2004. "The minimum wage and restaurant prices," Working Paper Series WP-04-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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