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Price adjustment in Italy: evidence from micro producer and consumer prices

  • Silvia Fabiani

    (Bank of Italy, Research and International Relations, Rome, Italy)

  • Angela Gattulli

    (Bank of Italy, Research and International Relations, Rome, Italy)

  • Giovanni Veronese

    (Bank of Italy, Research and International Relations, Rome, Italy)

  • Roberto Sabbatini

    (Bank of Italy, Research and International Relations, Rome, Italy)

This paper investigates the behaviour of consumer and producer prices in Italy using micro data. The frequency of price changes is computed in order to obtain a quantitative measure of the unconditional degree of price rigidity at both the consumption and the production stage. On average, producer prices tend to remain unchanged for around 6 months, whereas consumer prices exhibit a longer duration, of 10 months. A comparison of the price behaviour of similar items confirms that prices are more flexible at the production stage. Prices, however, are not adjusted uniformly across sectors. The duration of producer prices is less for food and non-energy intermediate products and greater for non-food consumer and investment goods. At the consumption stage, price spells are longer for non-energy industrial goods and services, much shorter for energy products. In exploring the possible reasons for the differences, we observe that a higher share of labour in total costs is associated with lower frequency of price adjustment. Moreover, the structure and functioning of the retail sector in Italy may slow price adjustment at the consumption stage, together with other specific economic factors that affect mainly consumer price behaviour, such as menu costs and attractive pricing policies. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/mde.1481
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Managerial and Decision Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2-3 ()
Pages: 93-104

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Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:31:y:2010:i:2-3:p:93-104
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/7976

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