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The relation between price setting in markets and asymmetries of systems of measurement of goods


  • Coccia, Mario


Markets, in an increasingly globalized world, have still dissimilar systems of measurement of goods due to different historical developmental paths of nations. A problem in economics is whether and how these asymmetries of systems of measurement of goods affect the prices in markets. The present study confronts this problem here by analyzing some prices of goods in U.S. and Italian economies that apply different systems of measurement of mass and liquid (i.e., United States Customary System vs. Metric System). The inductive study analyses the prices of milk, per gallon and liter, and the prices of a consumption bundle of fresh vegetables and fruit, per pound and kg, between the USA and Italy. The statistical evidence seems in general to support the hypothesis that differences of prices per same quantity and/or volume of good can be also explained by asymmetries in systems of measurement adopted in markets. In particular, results show that markets with basic units of measurement of mass and/or liquid having more quantity of good, e.g. kg rather than pound (0.4535kg) and/or gallon (3.78 Liter) rather than liter, induce lower levels of average price per same quantity, ceteris paribus. These findings may be due to relativity of cognitive processes of decision makers, which apply frugal way of reasoning in price setting, based on satisficing behaviour and bounded rationality, by associating a legal basic unit of measurement of mass and/or liquid to an official monetary unit. Hence, this study shows that basic units of measurement of goods with more quantity seem to generate lower average prices in markets and, as a consequence, higher benefits for consumers. The main aim of this article is therefore to clarify and to generalize whenever possible, the relation between dissimilar systems of measurement of goods and price setting in markets of different countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Coccia, Mario, 2016. "The relation between price setting in markets and asymmetries of systems of measurement of goods," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 14(PB), pages 168-178.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joecas:v:14:y:2016:i:pb:p:168-178
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeca.2016.06.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Herbert A. Simon, 1955. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 99-118.
    2. Raghubir, Priya & Srivastava, Joydeep, 2002. " Effect of Face Value on Product Valuation in Foreign Currencies," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 335-347, December.
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    4. repec:eee:joecas:v:12:y:2015:i:2:p:100-109 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Coccia, Mario & Wang, Lili, 2015. "Path-breaking directions of nanotechnology-based chemotherapy and molecular cancer therapy," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 155-169.
    6. Mario Coccia, 2001. "Satisfaction, work involvement and R&D performance," International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(2/3/4), pages 268-282.
    7. Rather, Sartaj Rasool & Durai, S. Raja Sethu & Ramachandran, M., 2015. "Asymmetric price adjustment – evidence for India," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 73-79.
    8. Cavallo, Eugenio & Ferrari, Ester & Bollani, Luigi & Coccia, Mario, 2014. "Attitudes and behaviour of adopters of technological innovations in agricultural tractors: A case study in Italian agricultural system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 44-54.
    9. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-131, March.
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    12. Giuseppe Calabrese & Mario Coccia & Secondo Rolfo, 2005. "Strategy and market management of new product development and incremental innovation: evidence from Italian SMEs," International Journal of Product Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1/2), pages 170-189.
    13. Mario Coccia, 2009. "A New Approach for Measuring and Analysing Patterns of Regional Economic Growth: Empirical Analysis in Italy," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 8(2), pages 71-95.
    14. Śmiech, Sławomir & Papież, Monika & Dąbrowski, Marek A., 2015. "Does the euro area macroeconomy affect global commodity prices? Evidence from a SVAR approach," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 485-503.
    15. Coccia, Mario, 2010. "Energy metrics for driving competitiveness of countries: Energy weakness magnitude, GDP per barrel and barrels per capita," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 1330-1339, March.
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    18. Mario Coccia, 2007. "A new taxonomy of country performance and risk based on economic and technological indicators," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 10, pages 29-42, May.
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    More about this item


    E31; E64; P42; Q11; Price settings; Systems of measurement; Quantity asymmetries; Bounded rationality; Euro currency changeover; Measurement-based prices; Money illusion;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • P42 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Productive Enterprises; Factor and Product Markets; Prices
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices


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