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Menu Costs, Multiproduct Firms, and Aggregate Fluctuations

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  • Virgiliu Midrigan

Abstract

I employ a large set of scanner price data collected in retail stores and document that (i) although the average magnitude of price changes is large, a substantial number of price changes are small in absolute value; (ii) the distribution of non-zero price changes has fat tails; and (iii) stores tend to adjust prices of goods in narrow product categories simultaneously. I extend the standard menu costs model to a multi-product setting in which firms face economies of scale in the technology of adjusting prices. The model, because of its ability to replicate this additional set of micro-economic facts, can generate aggregate fluctuations much larger than those in standard menu costs economies.
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Suggested Citation

  • Virgiliu Midrigan, 2011. "Menu Costs, Multiproduct Firms, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1139-1180, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:79:y:2011:i:4:p:1139-1180
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    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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