The Rigidity of Prices
AbstractThis paper presents evidence on the amount of price rigidity that exists in individual transaction prices. Using the Stigler-Kindahi data, I examine the behavior of individual buyers' prices for certain products used in manufacturing. My most important findings are: 1.The degree of price rigidity in many industries is significant. It is not unusual in some industries for prices to individual buyers to remain unchanged for several years. 2.Even for what appear to be homogeneous commodities, the correlation of price changes across buyers is very low. 3.There is no evidence that there is an asymmetry in price rigidity. In particular, prices are not rigid down-ward. 4.The fixed costs of changing price at least to some buyers seem trivial. There are plenty of instances where small price changes occur. 5.The level of industry concentration is strongly correlated with rigid prices. The more concentrated the industry, the longer is the average spell of price rigidity. 6.There appears to be a relationship between price rigidity, size of price change, and the length of time a buyer and seller deal with each other.I interpret the findings as evidence that it is erroneous to focus attention on price as the exclusive mechanism to allocate resources. Nonprice rationing is not a fiction, it is a reality of business and may be the efficient response to economic uncertainty.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1813.
Date of creation: Jan 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Carlton, Dennis W. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review,Vol . 76, No. 4, (September 1986), pp. 637-658.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.