IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models

Listed author(s):
  • Emi Nakamura
  • Jón Steinsson

We establish five facts about prices in the U.S. economy: (1) For consumer prices, the median frequency of nonsale price change is roughly half of what it is including sales (9–12% per month versus 19–20% per month for identical items; 11–13% per month versus 21–22% per month including product substitutions). The median frequency of price change for finished-goods producer prices is comparable to that of consumer prices excluding sales. (2) One-third of nonsale price changes are price decreases. (3) The frequency of price increases covaries strongly with inflation, whereas the frequency of price decreases and the size of price increases and price decreases do not. (4) The frequency of price change is highly seasonal: it is highest in the first quarter and then declines. (5) We find no evidence of upwardsloping hazard functions of price changes for individual products. We show that the first, second, and third facts are consistent with a benchmark menu-cost model, whereas the fourth and fifth facts are not.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/qjec.2008.123.4.1415
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 123 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 1415-1464

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:4:p:1415-1464.
Contact details of provider:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Daniel Hosken & David Reiffen, 2004. "Patterns of Retail Price Variation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 128-146, Spring.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2006. "Menu costs, multi-product firms, and aggregate fluctuations," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/13, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  5. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Álvarez & Hervé Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lünnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2005. "Price setting in the euro area: Some stylized facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Working Paper Research 74, National Bank of Belgium.
  6. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Benjamin Eden, 2014. "Rigid Prices: Evidence From U.S. Scanner Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 423-442, 05.
  7. Fougere, Denis & Le Bihan, Herve & Sevestre, Patrick, 2007. "Heterogeneity in Consumer Price Stickiness: A Microeconometric Investigation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 247-264, July.
  8. Anil K Kashyap, 1995. "Sticky Prices: New Evidence from Retail Catalogs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 245-274.
  9. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
  10. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  11. Dias, D.A. & Marques, C. Robalo & Santos Silva, J.M.C., 2007. "Time- or state-dependent price setting rules? Evidence from micro data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1589-1613, October.
  12. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Álvarez & Hervé Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lünnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2005. "Price setting in the euro area: Some stylized facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Working Paper Research 74, National Bank of Belgium.
  13. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
  14. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2010. "Monetary Non-neutrality in a Multisector Menu Cost Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 961-1013.
  15. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2007. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 171-199.
  16. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
  17. Andrew S. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-725.
  18. Luis J. Álvarez & Emmanuel Dhyne & Marco Hoeberichts & Claudia Kwapil & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Lünnemann & Fernando Martins & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Philip Vermeulen & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Sticky Prices in the Euro Area: A Summary of New Micro-Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 575-584, 04-05.
  19. Giovanni Olivei & Silvana Tenreyro, 2007. "The Timing of Monetary Policy Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 636-663, June.
  20. 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.
  21. Philip Vermeulen & Daniel A. Dias & Maarten Dossche & Erwan Gautier & Ignacio Hernando & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl, 2012. "Price Setting in the Euro Area: Some Stylized Facts from Individual Producer Price Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(8), pages 1631-1650, December.
  22. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
  23. Victor Aguirregabiria, 1999. "The Dynamics of Markups and Inventories in Retailing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 275-308.
  24. Pashigian, B Peter, 1988. "Demand Uncertainty and Sales: A Study of Fashion and Markdown Pricin g," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 936-953, December.
  25. Jonathan L. Willis, 2006. "Magazine prices revisited," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 337-344.
  26. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-658, September.
  27. repec:hrv:faseco:32116841 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
  29. Ellingsen, Tore & Friberg, Richard & Hassler, John, 2006. "Menu Costs and Asymmetric Price Adjustment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5749, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Luis J. Álvarez & Pablo Burriel & Ignacio Hernando, 2005. "Do decreasing hazard functions for price changes make any sense?," Working Papers 0508, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  31. Josef Baumgartner & Ernst Glatzer & Fabio Rumler & Alfred Stiglbauer, 2005. "How Frequently Do Consumer Prices Change in Austria? Evidence from Micro CPI Data," Working Papers 101, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  32. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2008. "Temporary price changes and the real effects of monetary policy," Working Papers 661, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  33. Arellano, M, 1987. "Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Groups Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 431-434, November.
  34. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-389, April.
  35. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  36. George J. Stigler & James K. Kindahl, 1970. "The Behavior of Industrial Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stig70-1.
  37. Konieczny, Jerzy D. & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2005. "Inflation and price setting in a natural experiment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 621-632, April.
  38. Joel Sobel, 1984. "The Timing of Sales," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 353-368.
  39. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Retail Pricing and Clearance Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 14-32, March.
  40. Lorenz Goette & Rudolf Minsch & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Micro Evidence on the Adjustment of Sticky-Price Goods: It's How Often, not How Much," Discussion Papers 05-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  41. Philip Vermeulen & Daniel A. Dias & Maarten Dossche & Erwan Gautier & Ignacio Hernando & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl, 2012. "Price Setting in the Euro Area: Some Stylized Facts from Individual Producer Price Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(8), pages 1631-1650, December.
  42. 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.
  43. Fougere, Denis & Le Bihan, Herve & Sevestre, Patrick, 2007. "Heterogeneity in Consumer Price Stickiness: A Microeconometric Investigation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 247-264, July.
  44. Carlton, Dennis W, 1979. "Contracts, Price Rigidity, and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 1034-1062, October.
  45. Martin Pesendorfer, 2002. "Retail Sales: A Study of Pricing Behavior in Supermarkets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(1), pages 33-66, January.
  46. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
  47. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
  48. Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-956, July.
  49. Robert J. Barro, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26.
  50. 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.
  51. Alan Kackmeister, 2007. "Yesterday's Bad Times Are Today's Good Old Times: Retail Price Changes Are More Frequent Today Than in the 1890s," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1987-2020, December.
  52. Gita Gopinath & Roberto Rigobon, 2008. "Sticky Borders," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 531-575.
  53. Silvia Fabiani & Martine Druant & Ignacio Hernando & Claudia Kwapil & Bettina Landau & Claire Loupias & Fernando Martins & Thomas Mathä & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Ad Stokman, 2006. "What Firms' Surveys Tell Us about Price-Setting Behavior in the Euro Area," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(3), September.
  54. Luis J. Álvarez & Emmanuel Dhyne & Marco Hoeberichts & Claudia Kwapil & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Lünnemann & Fernando Martins & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Philip Vermeulen & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Sticky Prices in the Euro Area: A Summary of New Micro-Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 575-584, 04-05.
  55. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:4:p:1415-1464.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.