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Sticky prices, coordination and enforcement

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  • John C. Driscoll
  • Harumi Ito

Abstract

Price-setting models with monopolistic competition and costs of changing prices exhibit coordination failure: In response to a monetary policy shock, individual agents lack incentives to change prices even when it would be Pareto-improving if all agents did so. The potential welfare gains are in part evaluated relative to a benchmark equilibrium of perfect, costless coordination; in practice, since agents will still have incentives to deviate from the benchmark equilibrium, coordination is likely to require enforcement. We consider an alternative benchmark equilibrium in which coordination is enforced by punishing deviators. This is formally equivalent to modeling agents as a cartel playing a punishment game. We show that this new benchmark implies that the welfare losses from coordination failure are smaller. Moreover, at the new benchmark equilibrium, prices are upwards-flexible but downwards-sticky. These last results suggest that the dynamic behavior of sticky-price models may more generally depend on the kind of imperfect competition assumed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2003-30.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-30

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Keywords: Monopolistic competition ; Prices;

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  1. V. V. Chari & Patrick J Kehoe, 1998. "Sustainable Plans," Levine's Working Paper Archive 600, David K. Levine.
  2. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708, August.
  3. Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "Does state-dependent pricing imply coordination failure?," Working Paper 99-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  4. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 183-203, April.
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  7. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  8. Julio Rotemberg, 1987. "The New Keynesian Microfoundations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 69-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-38, May.
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