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Micro Foundations of Price-Setting Behaviour: Evidence from Canadian Firms

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  • Daniel de Munnik
  • Kuan Xu

Abstract

How do firms adjust prices in the marketplace? Do they tend to adjust prices infrequently in response to changes in market conditions? If so, why? These remain key questions in macroeconomics, particularly for central banks that work to keep inflation low and stable. The authors use the Bank of Canada's 2002-03 price-setting survey data to investigate Canadian firms' price-setting behaviour; they also analyze the micro foundations for the firms' pricing behaviour using count data and probit models. The authors find that, all else being equal, firms tend to adjust prices more frequently if they are state-dependent price-setters, operate in the trade sector, or have large variable costs or more direct competitors. There are various sticky-price theories; in the Bank's price-setting survey, the senior management of firms were read a simple statement in non-technical language that paraphrased each sticky-price theory, and were then asked whether the statement applied to their firm. The most frequently recognized sticky-price theories are customer relations, cost-based pricing, and coordination failure. The authors' analysis indicates that if firms recognize coordination failure on price increases, sticky information, menu costs, factor stability, or customer relations as being important, they tend to adjust prices less frequently. The authors also find that the patterns discernible within firms' recognition of stickyprice theories are strongly associated with firms' micro foundations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 07-31.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:07-31

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Keywords: Inflation and prices; Transmission of monetary policy;

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References

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  1. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2007. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Discussion Papers 07-007, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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  3. Owen, Ann & Trzepacz, David, 2002. "Menu costs, firm strategy, and price rigidity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 345-349, August.
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  16. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information: A Model of Monetary Nonneutrality and Structural Slumps," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1941, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Martha Misas A. & Juan Carlos Parra A. & Enrique López E., 2011. "Heterogeneidad en la fijación de precios en Colombia: análisis de sus determinantes a partir de modelos de conteo," VNIVERSITAS ECONÓMICA 008301, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.

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