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Price Rigidity and Price Dispersion: Evidence from Micro Data

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  • Eyal Baharad

    (The University of Haifa)

  • Benjamin Eden

    (Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

We use large unpublished data set about the prices by store of 381 products collected by the Israeli Bureau of Statistics during 1991-1992 in the process of computing the CPI. On average 24% of the stores changed their price where the average is over products and months. Using the standard calculation this would imply that on average prices remain unchanged for 4.1 months. We argue that the standard calculation may suffer from a large aggregation bias due to Jensen's inequality and our best estimate suggests that prices remain unchanged on average for 7.9 months. We then assess the importance of price rigidity in generating price dispersion. We find no evidence that price rigidity as measured by the frequency of nominal price changes is related to price dispersion. We also find no evidence that a shock to the inflation rate increases price dispersion. These findings are not consistent with standard versions of the staggered price setting model but are roughly consistent with a simple version of the uncertain and sequential trade model. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2004.01.004
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 613-641

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:7:y:2004:i:3:p:613-641

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  1. Williamson, Stephen D., 1996. "Sequential markets and the suboptimality of the Friedman rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 549-572, June.
  2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "Sticky Price Models of the Business Cycle: Can the Contract Multiplier Solve the Persistence Problem?," NBER Working Papers 5809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eden, Benjamin, 1993. "Inflation and Price Adjustment: An Analysis of Micro Data," Working Papers 94-13, University of Iowa, Department of Economics, revised 1994.
  4. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
  6. Anil K Kashyap, 1994. "Sticky Prices: New Evidence from Retail Catalogs," NBER Working Papers 4855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  8. Eden, Benjamin, 1994. "The Adjustment of Prices to Monetary Shocks When Trade Is Uncertain and Sequential," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 493-509, June.
  9. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050 Elsevier.
  10. Woodford, Michael, 1996. "Loan commitments and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 573-605, June.
  11. Crucini, Mario J. & Shintani, Mototsugu, 2008. "Persistence in law of one price deviations: Evidence from micro-data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 629-644, April.
  12. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-58, September.
  13. Bental, Benjamin & Eden, Bemjamin, 1996. "Money and inventories in an economy with uncertain and sequential trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 445-459, June.
  14. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Real Effects of Monetary Shocks in an Economy with Sequential Purchases," NBER Working Papers 4250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Bental, Benjamin & Eden, Benjamin, 2002. "Reserve requirements and output fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1597-1620, November.
  16. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  17. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing And The General Equilibrium Dynamics Of Money And Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690, May.
  18. Saul Lach, 2002. "Existence And Persistence Of Price Dispersion: An Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 433-444, August.
  19. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-89, April.
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