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Bargaining, fairness, and price rigidity in a DSGE environment

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  • David M. Arseneau
  • Sanjay K. Chugh

Abstract

A growing body of evidence suggests that an important reason why firms do not change prices nearly as much as standard theory predicts is out of concern for disrupting ongoing customer relationships because price changes may be viewed as "unfair". Existing models that try to capture this concern regarding price-setting are all based on goods markets that are fundamentally Walrasian. In Walrasian goods markets, transactions are spot, making the idea of ongoing customer relationships somewhat difficult to understand. We develop a simple dynamic general equilibrium model of a search-based goods market to make precise the notion of a customer as a repeat buyer at a particular location. In this environment, the transactions price plays a distributive role as well as an allocative role. We exploit this distributive role of prices to explore how concerns for fairness influence price dynamics. Using pricing schemes with bargaining-theoretic foundations, we show that the particular way in which a "fair" outcome is determined matters for price dynamics. The most stark result we find is that complete price stability can arise endogenously. There are issues about which models based on standard Walrasian goods markets are silent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 900.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:900

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Related research

Keywords: Prices ; Customer relations;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Emmanuel Saez & Pascal Michaillat, 2013. "A Theory of Aggregate Supply and Aggregate Demand as Functions of Market Tightness with Prices as Parameters," 2013 Meeting Papers 1216, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. David M. Arseneau & Ryan Chahrour & Sanjay K. Chugh & Alan Finkelstein Shapiro, 2013. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Customer Markets," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 842, Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2008. "Competitive search equilibrium in a DSGE model," International Finance Discussion Papers 929, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Thomas Y. MATHA & Olivier PIERRARD, 2009. "Search in the Product Market and the Real Business Cycle," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2009019, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  5. Nicolas Vincent, 2012. "Price Stickiness in Customer Markets with Reference Prices," Cahiers de recherche 1230, CIRPEE.
  6. Mirko Abbritti, 2012. "Product Market Frictions, Bargaining and Pass-Through," Faculty Working Papers 19/12, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.

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