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Sticky Prices, Markup and the Business Cycle: Some Evidence

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  • Giovanni Lombardo

Abstract

In this paper we provide empirical evidence of a positive correlation between the degree of competition and the persistence of the deviation of real output from trend. Under the assumption of imperfect competition and sticky prices we simulate a simple dynamic general equilibrium model to derive the theoretical correlation between competition and persistence. We then use a panel of 24 OECD countries to estimate the correlation between a measure of the markup and a measure of persistence. The markup is measured using the observed unit labour cost. On the basis of our theoretical results, we find it easier to believe that the observed unit labour cost does indeed reflect the size of the markup. Our result is consistent with existing microeconomic evidence on the relationship between competition and price rigidity.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 01/06.

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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:01/06

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Postal: Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
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  1. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
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  10. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  11. Giovanni Lombardo, 2002. "Price rigidity, the mark-up, and the dynamics of the current account," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(3), pages 531-555, August.
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  15. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Woodford, Michael, 1999. "The cyclical behavior of prices and costs," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1051-1135 Elsevier.
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  19. repec:cup:macdyn:v:4:y:2000:i:1:p:74-107 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Kiley, Michael T, 2000. "Endogenous Price Stickiness and Business Cycle Persistence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(1), pages 28-53, February.
  21. Bergin, Paul R. & Feenstra, Robert C., 2000. "Staggered price setting, translog preferences, and endogenous persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 657-680, June.
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  25. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  26. Katharine S. Neiss, 2001. "The markup and inflation: evidence in OECD countries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 570-587, May.
  27. Neiss, Katharine S, 1999. "Discretionary Inflation in a General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 357-74, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Ganelli, Giovanni & Lane, Philip R., 2002. "Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis: The Open Economy Dimension," CEPR Discussion Papers 3540, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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