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Sticky prices or rational inattention – What can we learn from sectoral price data?

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  • Kaufmann, Daniel
  • Lein, Sarah M.

Abstract

This paper derives stylised facts on sectoral inflation dynamics and confronts these facts with two popular theoretical models of price setting. Based on sectoral price responses to macroeconomic shocks estimated from an approximate factor model, we find that the frequency of price changes explains a relevant share of the cross-sectional variation of the speed and size of responses. Moreover, there is little evidence that the volatility of sectoral inflation due to idiosyncratic shocks dampens the size and speed of the responses to macroeconomic shocks. These findings support a multi-sector model with sticky prices rather than a rational-inattention model. We derive the results from different modelling and sampling decisions proposed in the literature, and we find that the explanatory power of the frequency of price changes for the speed of response to a macroeconomic shock proves robust in the face of these decisions. Other results are sensitive with respect to the choice of the factor model and the treatment of outliers.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaufmann, Daniel & Lein, Sarah M., 2013. "Sticky prices or rational inattention – What can we learn from sectoral price data?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 384-394.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:384-394
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2013.10.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Föllmi, Reto & Minsch, Rudolf & Schnell, Fabian, 2016. "What Determines Price Changes and the Distribution of Prices? Evidence from the Swiss CPI," Economics Working Paper Series 1610, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    2. Kaufmann, Daniel & Scheufele, Rolf, 2017. "Business tendency surveys and macroeconomic fluctuations," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 878-893.
    3. Aleksandra Halka & Grzegorz Szafrański, 2018. "What Common Factors are Driving Inflation in CEE Countries?," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2018(2), pages 131-148.
    4. Aleksandra Hałka & Jacek Kotłowski, 2017. "Global or Domestic? Which Shocks Drive Inflation in European Small Open Economies?," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(8), pages 1812-1835, August.
    5. Wu, Zhang & Chong, Terence Tai-Leung, 2019. "Price rigidity in China: Empirical results at home and abroad," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 218-235.
    6. Frank Smets & Joris Tielens & Jan Van Hove, 2018. "Pipeline Pressures and Sectoral Inflation Dynamics," Working Paper Research 351, National Bank of Belgium.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heterogeneity in price setting; Sectoral price data; Sticky prices; Rational inattention; Approximate factor model;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables

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