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Sales and Monetary Policy

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  • Bernardo Guimaraes
  • Kevin D. Sheedy

Abstract

A striking fact about prices is the prevalence of ``sales': large temporary price cuts followed by a return exactly to the former price. This paper builds a macroeconomic model with a rationale for sales based on firms facing consumers with different price sensitivities. Even if firms can vary sales without cost, monetary policy has large real effects owing to sales being strategic substitutes: a firm's incentive to have a sale is decreasing in the number of other firms having sales. Thus the flexibility of prices at the micro level due to sales does not translate into flexibility at the macro level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0887.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0887

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: sales; monetary policy; nominal rigidities;

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  1. 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.
  2. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2008. "A Framework for Identifying the Sources of Local-Currency Price Stability with an Empirical Application," Working Papers 1161, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Guimarães, Bernardo & Sheedy, Kevin D., 2008. "Sales and Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 6940, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Tack Yun & Andrew Levin, 2009. "Reconsidering the Microeconomic Foundations of Price-Setting Behavior," 2009 Meeting Papers 798, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Emi Nakamura & Jon Steinsson, 2005. "Price Setting in a Forward-Looking Customer Market," Macroeconomics 0509010, EconWPA.
  8. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2008. "Temporary price changes and the real effects of monetary policy," Working Papers 661, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Salop, S & Stiglitz, J E, 1982. "The Theory of Sales: A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Identical Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1121-30, December.
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