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Why are Prices Sticky? Preliminary Results from an Interview Study

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  • Alan S. Blinder

Abstract

This paper reports preliminary results from a large research project on business pricing which is currently underway. The idea is to use interviews with actual price setters to assess the validity of a dozen theories of price stickiness. The rather unorthodox (for economists) methodology is defended; the research design is described briefly; and a few results based on the first 72 interviews (out of a projected 200) are presented. This sample suggests that the median firm changes its price annually and that price adjustments typically lag 3-4 months behind shocks to demand or cost.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3646.

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Date of creation: Mar 1991
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Publication status: published as American Economic Review, Vol. 81, No. 2, pp.89-96, May 1991.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3646

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  1. Gordon, Robert J, 1981. "Output Fluctuations and Gradual Price Adjustment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 493-530, June.
  2. Alan S. Blinder, 1981. "Inventories and Sticky Prices: More on the Microfoundations of Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 0620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Market Structure and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 285-338.
  4. Alan S. Blinder, 1990. "Learning by Asking Those Who Are Doing," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 297-306, Oct-Dec.
  5. 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.
  6. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
  7. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
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  1. Arguments for ending the microfoundations hegemony
    by Mainly Macro in Mainly Macro on 2012-08-30 17:03:00
  2. Arguments for ending the microfoundations hegemony
    by Mainly Macro in Mainly Macro on 2012-08-30 17:03:00
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