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Are Prices ‘Sticky’ Online? Market Structure Effects and Asymmetric Responses to Cost Shocks in Online Mortgage Markets

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Author Info

  • Maria Arbatskaya

    (Emory University)

  • Michael R. Baye

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

Abstract

We analyze daily mortgage rates posted by online lenders at the price comparison site, Microsurf. While cost shocks occurred almost daily in our sample, quoted mortgage rates are surprisingly rigid: Only 16 percent of the posted rates represent changes. However, firms that adjusted rates in response to cost shocks did so quite rapidly; about 98 percent of a cost shock was passed through within two days of the cost shock. Duration analysis reveals that the observed rigidity in rates systematically depends on market structure: Online mortgage rates are 30 to 40 percent more durable in concentrated markets than in markets where there are many competitors. We also find that rates posted online tend to exhibit downward stickiness; rate adjustments in response to cost increases are about twice the corresponding adjustments for cost decreases.

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File URL: http://www.bus.indiana.edu/riharbau/RePEc/iuk/wpaper/bepp2004-01-arbatskaya-baye.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2004-01.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2004-01

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Keywords: mortgage rate; price adjustment; price rigidity; price dispersion;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Information, Search, and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2006-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  2. David Fielding, 2010. "Non-monetary Determinants of Inflation Volatility: Evidence from Nigeria," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 19(1), pages 111-139, January.
  3. Jason Allen & Darcey McVanel, 2009. "Price Movements in the Canadian Residential Mortgage Market," Working Papers 09-13, Bank of Canada.
  4. Abbas Valadkhani & Sajid Anwar, 2012. "Interest Rate Pass-Through and the Asymmetric Relationship between the Cash Rate and the Mortgage Rate," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(282), pages 341-350, 09.
  5. David Fielding, 2008. "Inflation Volatility and Economic Development: Evidence from Nigeria," Working Papers 0807, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2008.
  6. Leo de Haan & Elmer Sterken, 2005. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment in the Dutch Mortgage Market," DNB Working Papers 061, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  7. Emin M. Dinlersoz & Pedro Pereira, 2006. "On the Diffusion of Electronic Commerce," Working Papers 13, Portuguese Competition Authority.

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