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How do individual UK consumer prices behave?

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  • Bunn, Philip

    ()
    (Bank of England)

  • Ellis, Colin

    ()
    (BVCA and University of Birmingham)

Abstract

This paper examines the behaviour of individual consumer prices in the United Kingdom, and uncovers a number of stylised facts about pricing behaviour. First, on average 19% of prices change each month, although this falls to 15% if sales are excluded. Second, the probability of price changes is not constant over time. Third, goods prices change more frequently than services prices. Fourth, the distribution of price changes is wide, although a significant number of changes are relatively small and close to zero. Fifth, prices that change more frequently tend to do so by less. We find that conventional pricing theories struggle to match these results, particularly the marked heterogeneity, which argues against the use of ‘representative agent’ models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 438.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 31 Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0438

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Keywords: Consumer prices; price-setting behaviour.;

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References

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  1. Jean Boivin & Marc Giannoni & Ilian Mihov, 2007. "Sticky Prices and Monetary Policy: Evidence from Disaggregated U.S. Data," NBER Working Papers 12824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lünnemann, Patrick & Mathä, Thomas Y., 2005. "Consumer price behaviour in Luxembourg: evidence from micro CPI data," Working Paper Series 0541, European Central Bank.
  3. Baumgartner, Josef & Glatzer, Ernst & Rumler, Fabio & Stiglbauer, Alfred, 2005. "How frequently do consumer prices change in Austria? Evidence from micro CPI data," Working Paper Series 0523, European Central Bank.
  4. Peter E. Rossi & Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap, 2002. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm291, Yale School of Management.
  5. Hoffmann, Johannes & Kurz-Kim, Jeong-Ryeol, 2006. "Consumer price adjustment under the microscope: Germany in a period of low inflation," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,16, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  6. Philip Bunn & Colin Ellis, 2012. "How do Individual UK Producer Prices Behave?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(558), pages F16-F34, 02.
  7. S. Fabiana & M. Druant & I. Hernando & C. Kwapil & B. Landau & C. Loupias & F. Martins & T. Math� & R. Sabbatini & H. Stahl & A. Stokman, 2005. "The Pricing Behaviour of Firms in the Euro Area New Survey Evidence," DNB Working Papers 058, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
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  9. Dias, Mónica & Dias, Daniel & Neves, Pedro D., 2004. "Stylised features of price setting behaviour in Portugal: 1992-2001," Working Paper Series 0332, European Central Bank.
  10. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
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  12. Felix Ritchie, 2008. "Secure access to confidential microdata: four years of the Virtual Microdata Laboratory," Economic and Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 2(5), pages 29-34, May.
  13. Luis J. Álvarez & Pablo Burriel & Ignacio Hernando, 2005. "Do decreasing hazard functions for price changes make any sense?," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0508, Banco de Espa�a.
  14. Capie,Forrest, 2010. "The Bank of England," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521192828, April.
  15. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  16. Silvia Fabiani & Martine Druant & Ignacio Hernando & Claudia Kwapil & Bettina Landau & Claire Loupias & Fernando Martins & Thomas Mathä & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Ad Stokman, 2006. "What Firms' Surveys Tell Us about Price-Setting Behavior in the Euro Area," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(3), September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Philip Bunn & Colin Ellis, 2012. "Examining The Behaviour Of Individual UK Consumer Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(558), pages F35-F55, 02.
  2. Alessandro Flamini & Guido Ascari & Lorenza Rossi, 2012. "Industrial Transformation, Heterogeneity in Price Stickiness, and the Great Moderation," DEM Working Papers Series 025, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.

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