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Asymmetries in Price‐Setting Behavior: New Microeconometric Evidence from Switzerland




In this paper we follow the recent empirical literature that has specified reduced-form models for price setting that are closely tied to (S, s)-pricing rules. Our contribution to the literature is twofold. First, we propose an estimator that relaxes distributional assumptions on the unobserved heterogeneity. Second, we use the estimator to examine asymmetries in price-setting behavior. Using micro price data underlying the Swiss CPI we find that a substantial share of asymmetries in the frequency of price changes can be traced back to a rising aggregate price level. We show that asymmetries would be reduced substantially in the absence of aggregate inflation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bo E. Honoré & Daniel Kaufmann & Sarah Lein, 2012. "Asymmetries in Price‐Setting Behavior: New Microeconometric Evidence from Switzerland," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 211-236, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:44:y:2012:i::p:211-236 DOI: j.1538-4616.2012.00558.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2008. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does it Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 863-904.
    2. Costain, James & Nakov, Anton, 2015. "Precautionary price stickiness," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 218-234.
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    4. Daniel Kaufmann, 2009. "Price-Setting Behaviour in Switzerland: Evidence from CPI Micro Data," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 145(III), pages 293-349, September.
    5. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni & Ilian Mihov, 2009. "Sticky Prices and Monetary Policy: Evidence from Disaggregated US Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 350-384, March.
    6. Denis Fougere & Erwan Gautier & Herve Le Bihan, 2010. "Restaurant Prices and the Minimum Wage," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(7), pages 1199-1234, October.
    7. Gautier, Erwan & Le Bihan, Hervé, 2011. "Time-varying (S, s) band models: Properties and interpretation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 394-412, March.
    8. Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz, 2005. "Robustness and real consequences of nominal wage rigidity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 779-804, May.
    9. Christopher Udry, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526.
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    11. Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "Is Firm Pricing State or Time Dependent? Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 643-656, August.
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    14. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
    15. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo & Josephine Smith, 2014. "How Frequent Are Small Price Changes?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 137-155, April.
    16. Daniel Kaufmann & Sarah Lein, 2011. "Sectoral Inflation Dynamics, Idiosyncratic Shocks and Monetary Policy," Working Papers 2011-07, Swiss National Bank.
    17. Etienne Gagnon, 2009. "Price Setting during Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1221-1263.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Kaufmann, 2015. "Nominal stability and Swiss monetary regimes over two centuries," KOF Working papers 15-379, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    2. 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.
    3. Letterie, Wilko & Nilsen, Øivind A., 2016. "Price Changes - Stickiness and Internal Coordination in Multiproduct Firms," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 21/2016, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    4. Nilsen, Øivind A. & Vange, Magne, 2016. "Intermittent Price Changes in Production Plants: Empirical Evidence using Monthly Data," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 22/2016, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    5. Sohei Kaihatsu & Mitsuru Katagiri & Noriyuki Shiraki, 2017. "Phillips Curve and Price-Change Distribution under Declining Trend Inflation," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 17-E-5, Bank of Japan.

    More about this item

    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
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models


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