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Price-setting behaviour in Belgium: what can be learned from an ad hoc survey?

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  • Aucremanne, Luc
  • Druant, Martine
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    Abstract

    This paper reports the results of an ad hoc survey on price-setting behaviour conducted in February 2004 among 2,000 Belgian firms. The reported results clearly deviate from a situation of perfect competition and show that firms have some market power. Pricing-to-market is applied by a majority of industrial firms. Prices are rather sticky. The average duration between two consecutive price reviews is 10 months, whereas it amounts to 13 months between two consecutive price changes. Most firms adopt time-dependent price reviewing under normal circumstances. However, when specific events occur, the majority will adopt a state-dependent behaviour. Evidence is found in favour of both nominal (mainly implicit and explicit contracts) and real rigidities (including flat marginal costs and counter-cyclical movements in desired mark-ups). The survey results point to a non-negligible degree of non-optimal price-setting. JEL Classification: D40, E31, L11

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0448.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050448

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    Related research

    Keywords: nominal rigidity; price rigidity; price-setting behaviour; pricing-to-market; real rigidity; state-dependent pricing; survey; timedependent pricing;

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    References

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    1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    2. Bayoumi, Tamim & Laxton, Douglas & Pesenti, Paolo, 2004. "Benefits and spillovers of greater competition in Europe: a macroeconomic assessment," Working Paper Series 0341, European Central Bank.
    3. Apel, Mikael & Friberg, Richard & Hallsten, Kerstin, 2005. "Microfoundations of Macroeconomic Price Adjustment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Firms," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 313-38, April.
    4. Aucremanne, L. & Cornille, D., 2001. "Attractive Prices and Euro-Rounding Effects on Inflation," Papers 17, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
    5. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "Sticky Price Models of the Business Cycle: Can the Contract Multiplier Solve the Persistence Problem?," NBER Working Papers 5809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Chevalier, Judith A & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Countercyclical Markups: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 703-25, September.
    7. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    8. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
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