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Pricing Behavior and the Introduction of the Euro: Evidence from a Panel of Restaurants in Italy


  • Eugenio Gaiotti

    () (Bank of Italy, Research Department)

  • Francesco Lippi

    (European Central Bank and Deutsche Bundesbank)


We assemble a panel of 2,500 restaurants in Italy over the period 1998-2004 to study whether, and through which channels, the introduction of euro coins and banknotes had an impact on individual pricing behaviour. We reach three conclusions. Firstly, while the evidence rejects the hypothesis that the changeover led to a “doubling of prices” in this industry, the event may have focussed public attention on the cumulative price increases which took place before the changeover, reflecting costs and demand. Secondly, the rise in the average meal price was due more to a larger proportion of restaurants revising their prices than to large individual revisions. Lastly, more local market power (as proxied by a concentration index) was associated with a larger price increase; an interpretation of the latter finding is proposed which also explains why the effects of the cash changeover were stronger in less competitive industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Eugenio Gaiotti & Francesco Lippi, 2004. "Pricing Behavior and the Introduction of the Euro: Evidence from a Panel of Restaurants in Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(3-4), pages 491-526, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v63_n3-4_p491-526

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing and the General Equilibrium Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690.
    2. Bart Hobijn & Federico Ravenna & Andrea Tambalotti, 2006. "Menu Costs at Work: Restaurant Prices and the Introduction of the Euro," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 1103-1131.
    3. Giancarlo Marini & Fabrizio Adriani & Pasquale Scaramozzino, 2003. "The Inflationary Consequences of a Currency Changeover: Evidence from the Michelin Red Guide," CEIS Research Paper 27, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
    4. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicoletta Berardi & Thomas Eife & Erwan Gautier, 2014. "Optimal price setting during a currency changeover: theory and evidence from french restaurants," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(23), pages 2766-2782, August.
    2. Columba, Francesco, 2008. "The speed of euro adoption," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 249-259, March.
    3. Fabrizio Adriani & Giancarlo Marini & Pasquale Scaramozzino, 2009. "The Inflationary Consequences of a Currency Changeover on the Catering Sector: Evidence from the Michelin Red Guide," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(1), pages 111-133, February.
    4. Luc Aucremanne & Marianne Collin & Thomas Stragier, 2007. "Assessing the Gap between Observed and Perceived Inflation in the Euro Area : Is the Credibility of the HICP at Stake ?," Working Paper Research 112, National Bank of Belgium.
    5. Stix, Helmut, 2009. "Perceived inflation and the euro: Evidence from an Austrian survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 547-561, December.
    6. Raitano, Michele & Fantozzi, Roberto, 2015. "Political cycle and reported labour incomes in Italy: Quasi-experimental evidence on tax evasion," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 269-280.

    More about this item


    euro changeover; menu costs;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General


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