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Multiproduct Firms and Price-Setting: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Producer Prices

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Author Info

  • Saroj Bhattarai

    (Pennsylvania State University)

  • Raphael Schoenle

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Brandeis University)

Abstract

In this paper, we establish three new facts about price-setting by multi-product firms and contribute a model that can explain our findings. On the empirical side, using micro-data on U.S. producer prices, we first show that firms selling more goods adjust their prices more frequently but on average by smaller amounts. Moreover, the higher the number of goods, the lower is the fraction of positive price changes and the more dispersed the distribution of price changes. Second, we document substantial synchronization of price changes within firms across products and show that synchronization plays a dominant role in explaining pricing dynamics. Third, we find that within-firm synchronization of price changes increases as the number of goods increases. On the theoretical side, we present a state-dependent pricing model where multi-product firms face both aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks. When we allow for firm-specific menu costs and trend inflation, the model matches the empirical findings.

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File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP15.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP15R.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School in its series Working Papers with number 15.

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Length: 86 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:15

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Postal: MS032, P.O. Box 9110, Waltham, MA 02454-9110
Web page: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/
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Related research

Keywords: Multi-Product Firms; Number of Goods; State-Dependent Pricing; U.S. Producer Prices;

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References

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  1. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Working Papers 05-4, Bank of Canada.
  2. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Khandelwal, Amit & Pavcnik, Nina & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Multi-product Firms and Product Turnover in the Developing World: Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 6881, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Sheshinski, E. & Weiss, Y., 1990. "Staggered And Synchronized Price Policies Under Inflation: The Multiproduct Monopoly Case," Papers 35-90, Tel Aviv.
  4. Mark Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," Macroeconomics 0402020, EconWPA.
  5. V. Bhaskar, 1998. "On Endogenously Staggered Prices," Macroeconomics 9809007, EconWPA.
  6. Fisher, Timothy C. G. & Konieczny, Jerzy D., 2000. "Synchronization of price changes by multiproduct firms: evidence from Canadian newspaper prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 271-277, September.
  7. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Etienne Gagnon, 2006. "Price Setting during Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," 2006 Meeting Papers 300, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multiproduct Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1175-96, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," NBER Working Papers 15826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Emmanuel Dhyne & Jerzy Konieczny, 2007. "Temporal Distribution of Price Changes: Staggering in the Large and Synchronization in the Small," Working Paper Series 01-07, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jul 2007.
  13. Gita Gopinath & Roberto Rigobon, 2006. "Sticky Borders," NBER Working Papers 12095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Neiman, Brent, 2010. "Stickiness, synchronization, and passthrough in intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 295-308, April.
  15. David Cornille & Maarten Dossche, 2008. "Some Evidence on the Adjustment of Producer Prices," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(3), pages 489-518, 09.
  16. Carvalho Carlos, 2006. "Heterogeneity in Price Stickiness and the Real Effects of Monetary Shocks," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-58, December.
  17. Carlos Carvalho, 2005. "Heterogeneity in Price Setting and the Real Effects of Monetary Shocks," Macroeconomics 0509017, EconWPA, revised 12 Sep 2005.
  18. Pinelopi Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2009. "How Rigid Are Producer Prices?," Working Papers 1184, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  19. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi, 2010. "A note on price adjustment with menu cost for multi-product firms," EIEF Working Papers Series 1018, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Dec 2010.
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  1. Price points, good diversity and price rigidity
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-02-17 15:17:00
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