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Price Rigidity and Price Dispersion: Evidence from Micro Data

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  • Eyal Baharad

    (University of Haifa)

  • Benjamin Eden

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and the University of Haifa)

Abstract

We use large unpublished data set about the prices by store of 381 products collected by the Israeli bureau of statistics during 1991-92 in the process of computing the CPI. On average 24% of the stores changed their price where the average is over products and months. Using the standard calculation this would imply that on average prices remain unchanged for 4.1 months. We argue that the standard calculation suffers from a large aggregation bias due to Jensen's inequality and our best estimate suggests that prices remain unchanged on average for more than 7.5 months. We then assess the importance of price rigidity in generating price dispersion. We find no evidence that price rigidity as measured by the frequency of nominal price changes is related to price dispersion. We also find no evidence that a shock to the inflation rate increases price dispersion. These findings are not consistent with standard versions of the staggered price setting model but are roughly consistent with a simple version of the uncertain and sequential trade model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0321.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0321

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

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Keywords: Micro data; price dispersion; sticky prices;

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  1. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Real Effects of Monetary Shocks in an Economy with Sequential Purchases," NBER Working Papers 4250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1998. "Sticky price models of the business cycle: can the contract multiplier solve the persistence problem?," Staff Report 217, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing And The General Equilibrium Dynamics Of Money And Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690, May.
  4. Crucini, Mario J. & Shintani, Mototsugu, 2008. "Persistence in law of one price deviations: Evidence from micro-data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 629-644, April.
  5. Saul Lach, 2002. "Existence and Persistence of Price Dispersion: an Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stephen D. Williamson, 1994. "Sequential markets and the suboptimality of the Friedman rule," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Apr.
  7. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050 Elsevier.
  8. Eden, Benjamin, 1994. "The Adjustment of Prices to Monetary Shocks When Trade Is Uncertain and Sequential," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 493-509, June.
  9. Benjamin Eden, 2001. "Inflation and Price Adjustment: An Analysis of Microdata," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 607-636, July.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Woodford, Michael, 1996. "Loan commitments and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 573-605, June.
  14. Bental, Benjamin & Eden, Bemjamin, 1996. "Money and inventories in an economy with uncertain and sequential trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 445-459, June.
  15. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-58, September.
  17. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  18. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  19. Bental, Benjamin & Eden, Benjamin, 2002. "Reserve requirements and output fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1597-1620, November.
  20. 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.
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