IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/qjecon/v126y2011i4p1909-1960.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal Price Setting With Observation and Menu Costs

Author

Listed:
  • Fernando E. Alvarez
  • Francesco Lippi
  • Luigi Paciello

Abstract

We study the price-setting problem of a firm in the presence of both observation and menu costs. The firm optimally decides when to "review" costly information on the adequacy of its price. Upon each review, the firm chooses whether to adjust its price, one or more times, before the next price review. Each price adjustment entails paying a menu cost. The firm's choices map into several statistics: the frequency of price reviews, the frequency of price adjustments, the size distribution of price changes, and the hazard rate of price adjustments. The simultaneous presence of observation and menu costs produces complementarities that change the predictions of simpler models featuring one cost only. For instance, infrequent observations may reflect a high menu cost rather than high observation costs: in spite of these complementarities, we show that the ratio of the two costs is identified by several statistics on price observations and adjustments. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando E. Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2011. "Optimal Price Setting With Observation and Menu Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1909-1960.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:4:p:1909-1960
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjr043
    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 below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Hall, Simon & Walsh, Mark & Yates, Anthony, 2000. "Are UK Companies' Prices Sticky?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 425-446, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Nimark, Kristoffer, 2008. "Dynamic pricing and imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 365-382, March.
    5. Marco Bonomo & Carlos Carvalho & René Garcia, 2010. "State-dependent pricing under infrequent information: a unified framework," Staff Reports 455, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    6. 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.
    7. Angeletos, George-Marios & La’O, Jennifer, 2009. "Incomplete information, higher-order beliefs and price inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(S), pages 19-37.
    8. Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2004. "Limited information capacity as a source of inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2003-2035, September.
    9. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
    10. Filip Matějka, 2016. "Rationally Inattentive Seller: Sales and Discrete Pricing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1125-1155.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Fernando Alvarez & Luigi Guiso & Francesco Lippi, 2012. "Durable Consumption and Asset Management with Transaction and Observation Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2272-2300, August.
    14. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
    15. Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "Endogenous information, menu costs and inflation persistence," NBER Working Papers 14184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Avinash Dixit, 1991. "Analytical Approximations in Models of Hysteresis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 141-151.
    17. Loupias, Claire & Ricart, Roland, 2004. "Price setting in France: new evidence from survey data," Working Paper Series 423, European Central Bank.
    18. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
    19. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2008. "A Phillips Curve with an Ss Foundation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 533-572, June.
    20. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2007. "Sticky Information in General Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 603-613, 04-05.
    21. Stokman, Ad C.J. & Hoeberichts, Marco M., 2006. "Price setting behaviour in the Netherlands: results of a survey," Working Paper Series 607, European Central Bank.
    22. Alberto Cavallo, 2015. "Scraped Data and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 21490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Miles Parker, 2017. "Price-setting behaviour in New Zealand," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(3), pages 217-236, September.
    24. Aucremanne, Luc & Druant, Martine, 2005. "Price-setting behaviour in Belgium: what can be learned from an ad hoc survey?," Working Paper Series 448, European Central Bank.
    25. Nakajima, Daisuke & Masatlioglu, Yusufcan, 2013. "Choice by iterative search," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), September.
    26. Stahl, Harald, 2005. "Price setting in German manufacturing: new evidence from new survey data," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,43, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    27. repec:hrv:faseco:33907956 is not listed on IDEAS
    28. 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.
    29. 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.
    30. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
    31. Phelps, Edmund S, 1969. "The New Microeconomics in Inflation and Employment Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 147-160, May.
    32. Mark Armstrong, 2008. "Interactions between Competition and Consumer Policy," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 4.
    33. Fabiani, Silvia & Hernando, Ignacio & Loupias, Claire & Mathä, Thomas Y. & Sabbatini, Roberto & Landau, Bettina & Stokman, Ad C.J. & Druant, Martine & Kwapil, Claudia & Stahl, Harald & Martins, Fernan, 2005. "The pricing behaviour of firms in the euro area: new survey evidence," Working Paper Series 535, European Central Bank.
    34. Burstein, Ariel T., 2006. "Inflation and output dynamics with state-dependent pricing decisions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1235-1257, October.
    35. Robert J. Barro, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26.
    36. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2006. "Inertia of Forward-Looking Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 152-157, May.
    37. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Moench, Emanuel & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Sectoral price data and models of price setting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(S), pages 78-99.
    38. Álvarez, Luis J. & Burriel, Pablo & Hernando, Ignacio, 2005. "Do decreasing hazard functions for price changes make any sense?," Working Paper Series 461, European Central Bank.
    39. Luis J. Álvarez & Ignacio Hernando, 2005. "The price setting behaviour of Spanish firms: evidence from survey data," Working Papers 0537, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    40. Kwapil, Claudia & Baumgartner, Josef & Scharler, Johann, 2005. "The price-setting behavior of Austrian firms: some survey evidence," Working Paper Series 464, European Central Bank.
    41. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1997. "Aggregation and Optimization with State-Dependent Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 601-626, May.
    42. Zauberman, Gal, 2003. " The Intertemporal Dynamics of Consumer Lock-In," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 405-419, December.
    43. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
    44. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
    45. 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.
    46. David Amirault & Carolyn Kwan & Gordon Wilkinson, 2006. "Survey of Price-Setting Behaviour of Canadian Companies," Staff Working Papers 06-35, Bank of Canada.
    47. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    48. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    49. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708.
    50. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1979. "Demand for Fixed Factors, Inflation and Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 31-45.
    51. Duffie, Darrell & Sun, Tong-sheng, 1990. "Transactions costs and portfolio choice in a discrete-continuous-time setting," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 35-51, February.
    52. 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.
    53. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    54. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1983. "Optimum Pricing Policy under Stochastic Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 513-529.
    55. Bonomo, Marco & Carvalho, Carlos, 2004. "Endogenous Time-Dependent Rules and Inflation Inertia," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1015-1041, December.
    56. Rene Garcia & Marco Bonomo, 2004. "Optimal Rules under Adjustment Cost and Infrequent Information," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 135, Econometric Society.
    57. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Pervasive Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 164-169, May.
    58. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
    59. Fabiani, Silvia & Loupias, Claire & Martins, Fernando & Sabbatini, Roberto (ed.), 2007. "Pricing Decisions in the Euro Area: How Firms Set Prices and Why," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195309287.
    60. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Pervasive Stickiness (Expanded Version)," NBER Working Papers 12024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    61. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly & Stavros Panageas, 2007. "Optimal Inattention to the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 244-249, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:126:y:2011:i:4:p:1909-1960. 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). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.