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Reference Prices, Costs, and Nominal Rigidities

  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Nir Jaimovich
  • Sergio Rebelo

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)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 234-62

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:1:p:234-62
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  1. Bernardo Guimaraes & Kevin D. Sheedy, 2008. "Sales and monetary policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25492, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. 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.
  3. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern97-1, July.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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