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Regular Adjustment - Theory and Evidenc

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Abstract

We ask why, in many circumstances and many environments, decision-makers choose to act on a time-regular basis (e.g. adjust every six weeks, etc.) or on a state-regular basis (e.g. change an interest rate by 0.25%, etc.), even though such an approach appears suboptimal. The paper attributes regular behaviour to adjustment cost heterogeneity. The reasons for this heterogeneity are discussed. We show that, given the cost heterogeneity, the likelihood of adopting regular policies depends on the shape of the benefit function: the flatter it is, the more likely, ceteris paribus, is regular adjustment. In general, however, there is no clear relationship between the degree of cost and benefit function heterogeneity and the incidence of regular adjustment. We provide sufficient conditions under which the less frequent are adjustments, the greater is the incidence of regular policies. To test the model we use a large Austrian data set, which consists of the direct price information collected by the statistical office and covers 80% of the CPI over eight years. We run cross-sectional tests, regressing the proportion of attractive prices and, separately, the excess proportion of price changes at the beginning of a year and at the beginning of a quarter, on various conditional frequencies of adjustment, inflation and its variability, dummies for good types, and other relevant variables. The results provide strong support for the model: the lower is, in a given market, the conditional frequency of price changes, the higher is the incidence of time- and state-regular adjustment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number eg0055.

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Length: 51
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision: 2006
Handle: RePEc:wlu:wpaper:eg0055

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Keywords: Optimal pricing; attractive prices; menu costs;

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References

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  1. Alexander L. Wolman, 2007. "The frequency and costs of individual price adjustment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(6), pages 531-552.
  2. Luis J. Álvarez & Ignacio Hernando, 2004. "Price setting behaviour in Spain: stylised facts using consumer price micro data," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0422, Banco de Espa�a.
  3. 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.
  4. Daniel Levy & Georg Muller & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2002. "Holiday Price Rigidity and Cost of Price Adjustment," Emory Economics 0208, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  5. Hoffmann, Johannes & Kurz-Kim, Jeong-Ryeol, 2006. "Consumer price adjustment under the microscope: Germany in a period of low inflation," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,16, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  6. Patrick Lünnemann & Thomas Mathä, 2005. "Consumer price behaviour in Luxembourg: evidence from micro CPI data," BCL working papers 17, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
  7. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1989. "State-Dependent Pricing And The Dynamics Of Money And Output," Discussion Papers 1989_32, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  8. Etienne Gagnon, 2006. "Price Setting during Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," 2006 Meeting Papers 300, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Álvarez & Hervé le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lünnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2005. "Price setting in the euro area: Some stylized facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0528, Banco de Espa�a.
  10. Dias, Daniel & Robalo Marques, Carlos & Santos Silva, João M. C., 2005. "Time or state dependent price setting rules? Evidence from Portuguese micro data," Working Paper Series 0511, European Central Bank.
  11. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy & Robert Venable, 2005. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Macroeconomics 0505007, EconWPA.
  12. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Baumgartner, Josef & Glatzer, Ernst & Rumler, Fabio & Stiglbauer, Alfred, 2005. "How frequently do consumer prices change in Austria? Evidence from micro CPI data," Working Paper Series 0523, European Central Bank.
  14. Owen, Ann & Trzepacz, David, 2002. "Menu costs, firm strategy, and price rigidity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 345-349, August.
  15. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  17. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Levy, Daniel & Dutta, Shantanu & Bergen, Mark, 2002. "Heterogeneity in Price Rigidity: Evidence from a Case Study Using Microlevel Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 197-220, February.
  21. Aucremanne, Luc & Dhyne, Emmanuel, 2004. "How frequently do prices change? Evidence based on the micro data underlying the Belgian CPI," Working Paper Series 0331, European Central Bank.
  22. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2011. "Fair Pricing," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 952-981, October.
  23. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2002. "Customer Anger at Price Increases, Time Variation in the Frequency of Price Changes and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 9320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Fisher, Timothy C. G. & Konieczny, Jerzy D., 2000. "Synchronization of price changes by multiproduct firms: evidence from Canadian newspaper prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 271-277, September.
  25. Basu, Kaushik, 1997. "Why are so many goods priced to end in nine? And why this practice hurts the producers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 41-44, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Levy & Dongwon Lee & Haipeng Chen & Robert Kauffman & Mark Bergen, 2008. "Price Points and Price Rigidity," Emory Economics 0809, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  2. Josef Baumgartner & Ernst Glatzer & Fabio Rumler & Alfred Stiglbauer, 2006. "Patterns and Determinants of Price Changes: Analysing Individual Consumer Prices in Austria," WIFO Working Papers 277, WIFO.
  3. Mark J. Zbaracki, 2007. "A sociological view of costs of price adjustment: contributions from grounded theory methods," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(6), pages 553-567.
  4. Loupias, Claire & Sevestre, Patrick, 2010. "Costs, demand, and producer price changes," Working Paper Series 1184, European Central Bank.
  5. Franz Hackl & Michael E. Kummer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2010. "99 cent: Price Points in E-Commerce," Economics working papers 2010-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  6. Jerzy D. Konieczny, 2006. "Discussion of: Lumpy Price Adjustments: A Microeconometric Analysis," Working Papers jk0035, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 1970.
  7. Luis J. Álvarez, 2007. "What do micro price data tell us on the validity of the New Keynesian Phillips Curve?," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0728, Banco de Espa�a.
  8. Emmanuel Dhyne & Jerzy Konieczny & Fabio Rumler & Patrick Sevestre, 2009. "Price rigidity in the euro area - An assessment," European Economy - Economic Papers 380, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

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