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Price Dispersion in U.S. Manufacturing

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  • Thomas A Abbott Iii
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    Abstract

    This paper addresses the question of whether products in the U.S. Manufacturing sector sell at a single (common) price, or whether prices vary across producers. The question of price dispersion is important for two reasons. First, if prices vary across producers, the standard method of using industry price deflators leads to errors in measuring real output at the firm or establishment level. These errors in turn lead to biased estimates of the production function and productivity growth equation as shown in Abbott (1988). Second, if prices vary across producers, it suggests that producers do not take prices as given but use price as a competitive variable. This has several implications for how economists model competitive behavior.

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    File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/1989/CES-WP-89-07.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 89-7.

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    Date of creation: Oct 1989
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:89-7

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    Related research

    Keywords: CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

    References

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    1. Isard, Peter, 1977. "How Far Can We Push the "Law of One Price"?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 942-48, December.
    2. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
    3. Perloff, Jeffrey M & Salop, Steven, 1985. "Firm-specific information, product differentiation, and industry equilibrium," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt60v9q47r, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    4. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
    5. Salop, Steven & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510, October.
    6. Dahlby, Bev & West, Douglas S, 1986. "Price Dispersion in an Automobile Insurance Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 418-38, April.
    7. Pratt, John W & Wise, David A & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1979. "Price Differences in Almost Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 189-211, May.
    8. Carlton, Dennis W, 1979. "Contracts, Price Rigidity, and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 1034-62, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Sang V Nguyen & Robert H Mcguckin, 1993. "On Productivity and Plant Ownership Change: New Evidence From the LRD," Working Papers 93-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Sang V Nguyen & Robert H Mcguckin, 1995. "Exploring The Role Of Acquisition In The Performance Of Firms: Is The "Firm" The Right Unit Of Analysis?," Working Papers 95-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Mariano Tommasi, 1992. "Inflation and Relative Prices Evidence from Argentina," UCLA Economics Working Papers 661, UCLA Department of Economics.

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