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Microeconomic rigidities and aggregate price dynamics

  • Caballero, Ricardo J.
  • Engel, Eduardo M. R. A.

This paper is an attempt to enrich the characterization of the sluggish behavior of the aggregate price level. Our contribution to this vast literature is to explicitly consider microeconomic heterogeneity and its interaction with nonlinear microeconomic price adjustment policies. The model we propose outperforms the constant-probability-of-adjustment/partial- adjustment model in describing the path of postwar U.S. inflation. Using only aggregate data, we infer that the probability that a firm adjusts its price depends on the sign and the magnitude of the deviation of the price from its target level. At the aggregate level we find that the aggregate price responds less to negative shocks than to positive shocks, that the size of this asymmetry increases with the size of the shock, and that the number of firms changing their prices - and therefore the flexibility of the price level to aggregate shocks - varies endogenously over time in response to changes in economic conditions.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 37 (1993)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 697-711

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:37:y:1993:i:4:p:697-711
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Gordon, Robert J, 1984. "The Short-run Demand for Money: A Reconsideration," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(4), pages 403-34, November.
  2. Julio Rotemberg, 1987. "The New Keynesian Microfoundations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 69-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. de Menil, George, 1974. "Aggregate Price Dynamics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(2), pages 129-40, May.
  4. Gordon, Robert J, 1981. "Output Fluctuations and Gradual Price Adjustment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 493-530, June.
  5. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  6. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-83, May.
  7. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A, 1992. "Beyond the Partial-Adjustment Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 360-64, May.
  8. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1994. "Small Sample Bias and Adjustment Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 52-58, February.
  9. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  10. Caballero, R.J., 1990. "A Fallacy Of Composition," Discussion Papers 1990_01, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  11. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  12. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A, 1991. "Dynamic (S, s) Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1659-86, November.
  13. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
  14. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1992. "Price Rigidities, Asymmetries, and Output Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 4091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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