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Rigid pricing and rationally inattentive consumer

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  • Matějka, Filip

Abstract

This paper proposes a mechanism leading to rigid pricing as an optimal strategy. It applies a framework of rational inattention to study the pricing strategies of a monopolistic seller facing a consumer with limited information capacity. The consumer needs to process information about the realized price, while the seller is perfectly attentive. The seller chooses to price rigidly, i.e. prices respond to changes in the unit input cost less than if the consumer was perfectly attentive. The rigidity is sometimes manifested by discreteness of prices – the seller charges a finite set of different prices even for a continuous range of unit input costs. The seller does so to provide the consumer with easily observable prices, which stimulates her to consume more and increases the seller's profit.

Suggested Citation

  • Matějka, Filip, 2015. "Rigid pricing and rationally inattentive consumer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PB), pages 656-678.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:158:y:2015:i:pb:p:656-678
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2015.01.021
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    1. S. Fabiani & M. Druant & I. Hernando & C. Kwapil & B. Landau & C. Loupias & F. Martins & T. Mathä & R. Sabbatini & H. Stahl & A. Stokman, 2005. "The pricing behaviour of firms in the euro area : new survey evidence," Working Paper Research 76, National Bank of Belgium.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Filip Matêjka & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 272-298, January.
    2. Kristoffer P. Nimark, 2014. "Man-Bites-Dog Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2320-2367, August.
    3. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Inattention to Rare Events," CEPR Discussion Papers 8626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Pavan, Alessandro & Vives, Xavier, 2015. "Information, Coordination, and Market Frictions: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PB), pages 407-426.
    5. Jean-Paul L'Huillier, 2012. "Consumers' Imperfect Information and Price Rigidities," EIEF Working Papers Series 1209, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Aug 2012.
    6. Tim Willems, 2017. "Actively Learning by Pricing: A Model of an Experimenting Seller," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2216-2239, September.
    7. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2017. "A “quantized” approach to rational inattention," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 50-71.
    8. Xavier Gabaix, 2014. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1661-1710.
    9. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2010. "A "quantum" approach to rational inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 7739, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Antonella Tutino, 2013. "Rationally inattentive consumption choices," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 421-439, July.
    11. Volker Hahn & Michal Marencak, 2018. "Price Points and Price Dynamics," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2018-01, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    12. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1065 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rational inattention; Imperfect information; Nominal rigidity;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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