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Average-cost pricing: Some evidence and implications

Listed author(s):
  • Altomonte, Carlo
  • Barattieri, Alessandro
  • Basu, Susanto

We present new survey evidence on pricing behavior for more than 14,000 European firms, and study its macroeconomic implications. Among firms that are price setters, roughly 75% respond that their prices are set as a markup on total costs, a business practice termed “full cost pricing”. Only 25% set prices as markups over variable or marginal costs. Moreover, using industry data for the U.S., we find that the correlation between changes in output prices and changes in variable input prices is significantly lower when fixed costs are likely to be more important.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292115001166
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 79 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 281-296

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:79:y:2015:i:c:p:281-296
DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.08.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Kimball, Miles S., 1989. "The effect of demand uncertainty on a precommitted monopoly price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-5.
  2. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
  3. R. L. Hall & C. J. Hitch, 1939. "Price Theory And Business Behaviour," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 0(1), pages 12-45.
  4. Koichiro Ito, 2014. "Do Consumers Respond to Marginal or Average Price? Evidence from Nonlinear Electricity Pricing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 537-563, February.
  5. Lester G. Telser, 1955. "Safety First and Hedging," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-16.
  6. Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 55-66, February.
  7. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  8. Day, Richard H & Aigner, Dennis J & Smith, Kenneth R, 1971. "Safety Margins and Profit Maximization in the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1293-1301, Nov.-Dec..
  9. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 593-624.
  10. Philippe Mongin, 1992. "The “Full-Cost” Controversy of the 1940s and 1950s: A Methodological Assessment," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 311-356, Summer.
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