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Pricing in inflationary times- the penny drops

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Author Info

  • Chakraborty, Ratula

    (Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia)

  • Dobson, Paul

    (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University)

  • Seaton, Jonathan S.

    (Corresponding Author, Department of Economics, University of Warwick,)

  • Waterson, Michael

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick, JEL classification: L16 ; L81 ; E31 Key words: Pricing behaviour ; supermarket prices ; inflationary behaviour ; price indexes)

Abstract

We investigate micro pricing behaviour in groceries (the UK’s most important consumer market) over eight years including the inflationary period of early 2008. We find behaviour sharply distinguished from most previous work, namely that overall basket prices rise but more individual prices fall than rise! This is consistent with retailers obscuring the fact of rising basket prices. We employ a significant new source of data that captures cross-competitor interplay in prices at a very detailed level. Unusually but importantly, our work takes into account that consumers buy baskets of goods, rather than individual products, when shopping at supermarkets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 975.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:975

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  1. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Working Papers 05-4, Bank of Canada.
  2. Levy, Daniel & Chen, Haipeng (Allan) & Ray, Sourav & Bergen, Mark, 2006. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment in the Small," MPRA Paper 1097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Martin Berka & Michael B. Devereux & Thomas Rudolph, 2011. "Price setting in a leading Swiss online supermarket," CAMA Working Papers 2011-19, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  5. Jochen Meyer & Stephan Cramon-Taubadel, 2004. "Asymmetric Price Transmission: A Survey," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 581-611.
  6. Paul B. Ellickson & Sanjog Misra, 2008. "Supermarket Pricing Strategies," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(5), pages 811-828, 09-10.
  7. Anderson, Simon & de Palma, Andre & Kreider, Brent, 2001. "Tax Incidence in Differentiated Product Oligopoly," Staff General Research Papers 5202, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Bacon, Robert W., 1991. "Rockets and feathers: the asymmetric speed of adjustment of UK retail gasoline prices to cost changes," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 211-218, July.
  9. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Optimal sticky prices under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1009, European Central Bank.
  10. Smith, Howard & Thanassoulis, John, 2012. "Upstream uncertainty and countervailing power," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 483-495.
  11. Abe, Naohito & Tonogi, Akiyuki, 2010. "Micro and macro price dynamics in daily data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 716-728, September.
  12. Glenn Ellison & Alexander Wolitzky, 2012. "A search cost model of obfuscation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 417-441, 09.
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Cited by:
  1. Seaton, Jonathan S. & Waterson, Michael, 2013. "Identifying and characterising price leadership in British supermarkets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 392-403.

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