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How frequently do prices change? Evidence based on the micro data underlying the Belgian CPI

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  • Luc Aucremanne

    ()
    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Emmanuel Dhyne

    ()
    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

Abstract

This paper examines the degree of price rigidity in Belgian consumer prices, using a large database. As to the observed degree of rigidity, the results reveal a substantial amount of heterogeneity, not only across but also within product categories. While prices turn out to be perfectly flexible for some product categories, they tend to be very sticky for others. Each month, nearly 17 p.c. of the consumer prices change on average and the median duration of a price spell is close to 13 months. A substantial subset of our results is compatible with state-dependent pricing, while other results suggest that some timedependency exists as well. The majority of price changes are price increases, but price decreases are not uncommon, except for services. The size of price changes is important. Price changes do not seem to be highly synchronised across price-setters within relatively homogenous product categories.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 44.

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Length: 71 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200404-1

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Keywords: consumer prices; price rigidity; state-dependent pricing; time-dependent pricing; staggered pricing;

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References

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  1. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2000. "European Inflation Dynamics," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0020, Banco de Espa�a.
  2. Kashyap, Anil K, 1995. "Sticky Prices: New Evidence from Retail Catalogs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 245-74, February.
  3. Laurent Baudry & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Sevestre & Sylvie Tarrieu, 2006. "Price Rigidity in France: Information From Consumer Price Collections," Economie et Statistique, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, vol. 386, pages 37-57, March.
  4. Jerzy D. Konieczny & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2000. "Inflation and Price Setting in a Natural Experiment," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1132, Econometric Society.
  5. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  6. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-58, September.
  7. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
  8. Aoki, Kosuke, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy responses to relative-price changes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 55-80, August.
  9. Cecchetti, Stephen G, 1985. "Staggered Contracts and the Frequency of Price Adjustment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 935-59, Supp..
  10. Aucremanne, L., 2000. "The Use of Robust Estimators as Measures of Core Inflation," Papers 2, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
  11. Luc Aucremanne & Guy Brys & Peter J Rousseeuw & Anja Struyf & Mia Hubert, 2003. "Inflation, relative prices and nominal rigidities," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 81-105 Bank for International Settlements.
  12. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-89, April.
  13. Buckle, Robert A. & Carlson, John A., 2000. "Menu costs, firm size and price rigidity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 59-63, January.
  14. Saul Lach & Daniel Tsiddon, 1994. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multipro-duct Firms," NBER Working Papers 4759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Aucremanne, L. & Cornille, D., 2001. "Attractive Prices and Euro-Rounding Effects on Inflation," Papers 17, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
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