Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Holiday Price Rigidity and Cost of Price Adjustment

Contents:

Author Info

  • Levy, Daniel
  • Müller, Georg
  • Chen, Haipeng (Allan)
  • Bergen, Mark
  • Dutta, Shantanu

Abstract

The Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday period is a major sales period for US retailers. Due to higher store traffic, tasks such as restocking shelves, handling customers’ questions and inquiries, running cash registers, cleaning, and bagging, become more urgent during holidays. As a result, the holiday-period opportunity cost of price adjustment may increase dramatically for retail stores, which should lead to greater price rigidity during holidays. We test this prediction using weekly retail scanner price data from a major Midwestern supermarket chain. We find that indeed, prices are more rigid during holiday periods than non-holiday periods. For example, the econometric model we estimate suggests that the probability of a price change is lower during holiday periods, even after accounting for cost changes. Moreover, we find that the probability of a price change increases with the size of the cost change, during both, the holiday as well as non-holiday periods. We argue that these findings are best explained by higher price adjustment costs (menu cost) the retailers face during the holiday periods. Our data provides a natural experiment for studying variation in price rigidity because most aspects of market environment such as market structure, industry concentration, the nature of long-term relationships, contractual arrangements, etc., do not vary between holiday and nonholiday periods. We, therefore, are able to rule out these commonly used alternative explanations for the price rigidity, and conclude that the menu cost theory offers the best explanation for the holiday period price rigidity.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13095/
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13095.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 06 May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13095

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Price Rigidity; Sticky Price; Rigid Price; Cost of Price Adjustment; Menu Cost; Holiday Period; Asymmetric Price Adjustment; Monetary Policy;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Chen, Haipeng (Allan) & Levy, Daniel & Ray, Sourav & Bergen, Mark, 2008. "Asymmetric price adjustment in the small," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 728-737, May.
  2. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1991. "Sticky Prices as Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 539-52, June.
  3. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1994. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 247-61, March.
  4. Geroski, P A, 1992. "Price Dynamics in UK Manufacturing: A Microeconomic View," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(236), pages 403-19, November.
  5. Robert B. Barsky & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2003. "What Can the Price Gap between Branded and Private-Label Products Tell Us about Markups?," NBER Chapters, in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 165-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Frederick C. Mills, 1927. "The Behavior of Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mill27-1, October.
  7. Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy & Sourav Ray & Paul H. Rubin & Benjamin Zeliger, 2008. "When Little Things Mean a Lot: On the Inefficiency of Item-Pricing Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 209-250, 05.
  8. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 2005. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," Macroeconomics 0505012, EconWPA.
  9. 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.
  10. Sourav Ray & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2005. "Asymmetric Wholesale Pricing: Theory and Evidence," Emory Economics 0513, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  11. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2006. "The Anatomy of a Price Cut: Discovering Organizational Sources of the Costs of Price Adjustment," Emory Economics 0610, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  12. Belk, Russell W, 1976. " It's the Thought That Counts: A Signed Digraph Analysis of Gift-Giving," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 155-62, December.
  13. Robert J. Gordon, 1981. "Output Fluctuations and Gradual Price Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 0621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Dutta, Shantanu & Bergen, Mark & Levy, Daniel, 2002. "Price flexibility in channels of distribution: Evidence from scanner data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 1845-1900, September.
  15. Hannan, Timothy H & Berger, Allen N, 1991. "The Rigidity of Prices: Evidence from the Banking Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 938-45, September.
  16. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-38, May.
  17. Warner, Elizabeth J & Barsky, Robert B, 1995. "The Timing and Magnitude of Retail Store Markdowns: Evidence from Weekends and Holidays," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 321-52, May.
  18. Buckle, Robert A & Carlson, John A, 1998. "Inflation and Asymmetric Output Adjustments by Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(2), pages 215-28, April.
  19. Georg Müller & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2005. "Private Label Price Rigidity during Holiday Periods," Working Papers 2005-01, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  20. Spencer Krane & Steven Braun, 1990. "Production smoothing evidence from physical-product data," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 103, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. 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.
  22. Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2002. "Heterogeneity in Price Rigidity: Evidence from a Case Study Using Micro-Level Data," Working Papers 2002-09, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  23. Mark Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," Macroeconomics 0402020, EconWPA.
  24. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, January.
  25. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
  26. Saul Lach & Daniel Tsiddon, 2007. "Small price changes and menu costs," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 649-656.
  27. Dennis W. Carlton, 1986. "The Theory and the Facts of How Markets Clear: Is Industrial Organization Valuable for Understanding Macroeconomics?," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 44, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  28. Danziger, Leif, 1983. "Price Adjustments with Stochastic Inflation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 699-707, October.
  29. 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.
  30. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1989. "State-Dependent Pricing And The Dynamics Of Money And Output," Discussion Papers 1989_32, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  31. Blinder, Alan S, 1991. "Why Are Prices Sticky? Preliminary Results from an Interview Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 89-96, May.
  32. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  33. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Optimal Pricing with Costly Adjustment: Evidence from Retail-Grocery Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 87-107, January.
  34. Pashigian, B Peter & Bowen, Brian, 1991. "Why Are Products Sold on Sale? Explanations of Pricing Regularities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1015-38, November.
  35. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multiproduct Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1175-96, December.
  36. Dutta, Shantanu, et al, 1999. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 683-703, November.
  37. Andrzej Skrzypacz & Jerzy D. Konieczny, 2005. "Search, Costly Price Adjustment and the Frequency of Price Changes – Theory and Evidence," 2005 Meeting Papers 782, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  38. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  39. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-58, September.
  40. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1995. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 161-93, February.
  41. Leif Danziger, 1998. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustment," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 83, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  42. Otnes, Cele & Lowrey, Tina M & Kim, Young Chan, 1993. " Gift Selection for Easy and Difficult Recipients: A Social Roles Interpretation," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 229-44, September.
  43. Peter E. Rossi & Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap, 2002. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm291, Yale School of Management.
  44. Ray C. Fair, 1989. "The Production Smoothing Model Is Alive and Well," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 896, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  45. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss (ed.), 1993. "Optimal Pricing, Inflation, and the Cost of Price Adjustment," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262193329, January.
  46. Frederick C. Mills, 1927. "Appendix to "The Behavior of Prices"," NBER Chapters, in: The Behavior of Prices, pages 441-586 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. Robert C. Feenstra & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2003. "Scanner Data and Price Indexes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen03-1, October.
  48. repec:ubc:bricol:96-02 is not listed on IDEAS
  49. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1988. "Examining Alternative Macroeconomic Theories," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 207-270.
  50. David Genesove, 1999. "The Nominal Rigidity of Apartment Rents," NBER Working Papers 7137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. Stiglitz, J E, 1979. "Equilibrium in Product Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 339-45, May.
  52. Bedrossian, Arakel & Moschos, Demetrios, 1988. "Industrial Structure, Concentration and the Speed of Price Adjustment," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 459-76, June.
  53. Owen, Ann & Trzepacz, David, 2002. "Menu costs, firm strategy, and price rigidity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 345-349, August.
  54. repec:fth:coluec:600 is not listed on IDEAS
  55. Fisher, Timothy C. G. & Konieczny, Jerzy D., 2006. "Inflation and Costly Price Adjustment: A Study of Canadian Newspaper Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 615-633, April.
  56. Frederick C. Mills, 1927. "Introduction to "The Behavior of Prices"," NBER Chapters, in: The Behavior of Prices, pages 31-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  57. Carpenter, Robert E & Levy, Daniel, 1998. "Seasonal Cycles, Business Cycles, and the Comovement of Inventory Investment and Output," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(3), pages 331-46, August.
  58. Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Robert Venable, 2005. "Price Adjustment at Multiproduct Retailers," Industrial Organization 0505005, EconWPA.
  59. Silver, Mick & Heravi, Saeed, 2001. "Scanner Data and the Measurement of Inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(472), pages F383-404, June.
  60. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13095. See general 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.