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La rigidità dei prezzi in Italia

  • Silvia Fabiani


    (Banca d' Italia, Servizio Studi, Roma)

  • Angela Gattulli


    (Banca d' Italia, Servizio Studi, Roma)

  • Roberto Sabbatini


    (Banca d' Italia, Servizio Studi, Roma)

The presence of price stickiness implies that in the short term adjustment to demand or supply shocks takes place through quantities. This paper approaches the issue of nominal price stickiness in Italy by analysing the cross-sectional distributions of the changes in sectoral consumer price indices and the relationships between the moments of such distributions. A preliminary descriptive analysis showed that consumer price cuts are indeed quite rare. The theoretical literature on price rigidity, in particular downwards, suggests some propositions concerning such relationships, which can be empirically tested. In particular, downward price rigidity should imply a positive asymmetric distribution which should become more pronounced as average inflation declines. Consumer price changes in Italy in fact exhibit quite a pronounced positive asymmetry. Moreover, the relative number of months in which the distribution of consumer price changes is right-skewed rises substantially moving from a high to a low inflation environment. On the basis of a Granger-causality analysis we show that, while the asymmetry in the distribution of Italian consumer price changes over the period characterised by high inflation rates was endogenously generated by the presence of adjustment costs, when moderate inflation prevailed the asymmetric behaviour of prices seems to have been due mainly to some form of inherent downward stickiness in the service sector.

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Article provided by Economia civile in its journal Moneta e Credito.

Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 223 ()
Pages: 325-358

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Handle: RePEc:psl:moneta:2003:33
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