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Does Indexation Bias the Estimated Frequency of Price Adjustment?

  • Maral Kichian
  • Oleksiy Kryvtsov

We assess the implications of price indexation for estimated frequency of price adjustment in sticky price models of business cycles. These models predominantly assume that non-reoptimized prices are indexed to lagged or average inflation. The assumption of price indexation adds tractability although it is not likely reflective of the price practices of firms at the micro level. Under indexation firms have less incentive to adjust their prices, which implies downward bias in the estimated frequency of price changes. To evaluate the bias, we generate data with Calvo-type models without indexation. The artificial data are then used to estimate the frequency of price changes with indexation. Considering different assumptions about the degree of price rigidity and the level of trend inflation in the data-generating model, we find that the estimated indexation bias can be substantial, ranging up to 12 quarters in some cases.

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 07-15.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:07-15
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  1. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2004. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Research 61, National Bank of Belgium.
  2. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
  5. Guido Ascari, 2004. "Staggered prices and trend inflation: some nuisances," Macroeconomics 0404029, EconWPA.
  6. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, J. David, 2001. "European inflation dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1237-1270.
  7. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  8. Sbordone, A.M., 1998. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: a New Test of Price Stickiness," Papers 653, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 2003. "Evaluating the Calvo model of sticky prices," Working Paper Series WP-03-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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