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The Asymmetric Outcome of Sticky Price Models

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  • Carles Ibanez
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    Abstract

    Empirical evidence shows demand shocks tend to have an asymmetric effect on output: it falls by a larger amount with a contraction than it rises with an expansion. We argue that introducing nominal rigidities in a framework where agents maximise their welfare can yield such an asymmetric outcome. We show that this is the case in the Sticky Prices framework, where each period an exogenously set fraction of firms fails to adjust prices. While the solution method commonly adopted by this literature, the log-linearization, delivers a perfectly symmetric response, methods that respect the original struc- ture of the model yield an asymmetric one. We show that when products are good substitutes to each other and labour supply is inelastic, the model implies that the response of output is larger with monetary contractions than with ex- pansions, even when the shock is small. We identify the origin of the asymmetry in that when not all firms adjust prices, some goods are cheaper than others and so more heavily consumed. With a positive shock, these goods are produced by the firms that fail to adjust, so that real income is not very much affected. But with a negative shock, they are produced by firms that adjust prices, causing a large swing in real income.

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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 07/19.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:07/19

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    Keywords: staggered price setting; asymmetric response to shocks; monetary business cycles;

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    1. Martin Ellison & Andrew Scott, 2001. "Sticky prices and volatile output," Bank of England working papers 127, Bank of England.
    2. Tsiddon, Daniel, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902, October.
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    10. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 4089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    14. Uhlig, H., 1995. "A toolkit for analyzing nonlinear dynamic stochastic models easily," Discussion Paper 1995-97, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    15. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
    16. Morten O. Ravn & Martin Sola, 2004. "Asymmetric effects of monetary policy in the United States," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 41-60.
    17. Michael B. Devereux & Henry E. Siu, 2007. "State Dependent Pricing And Business Cycle Asymmetries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 281-310, 02.
    18. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 183-203, April.
    19. Cover, James Peery, 1992. "Asymmetric Effects of Positive and Negative Money-Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1261-82, November.
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