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Why Are Prices Sticky? The Dynamics of Wholesale Gasoline Prices

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  • Michael C. Davis
  • James D. Hamilton

Abstract

The menu-cost interpretation of sticky prices implies that the probability of a price change should depend on the past history of prices and fundamentals only through the gap between the current price and the frictionless price. We find that this prediction is broadly consistent with the behavior of 9 Philadelphia gasoline wholesalers. We nevertheless reject the menu-cost model as a literal description of these firms' behavior, arguing instead that price stickiness arises from strategic considerations of how customers and competitors will react to price changes.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9741.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Publication status: published as Davis, Michael C. and James D. Hamilton. "Why Are Prices Sticky? The Dynamics Of Wholesale Gasoline Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 2004, v36(1,Feb), 17-37.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9741

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