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Reference Prices, Costs, and Nominal Rigidities

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Nir Jaimovich
  • Sergio Rebelo

Abstract

We assess the importance of nominal rigidities using a new weekly scanner dataset. We find that nominal rigidities take the form of inertia in reference prices and costs, defined as the most common prices and costs within a given quarter. Reference prices are particularly inertial and have an average duration of roughly one year, even though weekly prices change roughly once every two weeks. We document the relation between prices and costs and find sharp evidence of state dependence in prices. We use a simple model to argue that reference prices and costs are useful statistics for macroeconomic analysis. (JEL L11, L25, L81)

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "Reference Prices, Costs, and Nominal Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 234-262, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:1:p:234-62
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bernardo Guimaraes & Kevin D. Sheedy, 2011. "Sales and Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 844-876, April.
    2. Kenn Ariga & Kenji Matsui & Makoto Watanabe, 2001. "Hot and Spicy: Ups and Downs on the Price Floor and Ceiling at Japanese Supermarkets," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 316, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. Elizabeth J. Warner & Robert B. Barsky, 1995. "The Timing and Magnitude of Retail Store Markdowns: Evidence from Weekends and Holidays," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 321-352.
    4. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern97-1, June.
    5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    6. Margaret E. Slade & G.R.E.Q.A.M., 1998. "Optimal Pricing with Costly Adjustment: Evidence from Retail-Grocery Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 87-107.
    7. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1997. "Editorial in "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12"," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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