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Price Setting during Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico

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  • Etienne Gagnon

Abstract

This paper provides new insight into the relationship between inflation and the setting of individual prices by examining a large data set of Mexican consumer prices covering episodes of both low and high inflation. When the annual rate of inflation is low (below 10%–15%), the frequency of price changes comoves weakly with inflation because movements in the frequency of price decreases and increases partly offset each other. In contrast, the average magnitude of price changes correlates strongly with inflation because it is sensitive to movements in the relative shares of price increases and decreases. When inflation rises beyond 10%–15%, few price decreases are observed and both the frequency and average magnitude are important determinants of inflation. I show that a menu-cost model with idiosyncratic technology shocks predicts the average frequency and magnitude of price changes well over a range of inflation similar to that experienced by Mexico.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:3:p:1221-1263.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/qjec.2009.124.3.1221
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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