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The Cyclicality of Sales, Regular and Effective Prices: Business Cycle and Policy Implications

Author

Listed:
  • Olivier Coibion
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko
  • Gee Hee Hong

Abstract

We study the cyclical properties of sales, regular price changes and average prices paid by consumers (“effective” prices) using data on prices and quantities sold for numerous retailers across many U.S. metropolitan areas. Inflation in the effective prices paid by consumers declines significantly with higher unemployment while little change occurs in the inflation rate of prices posted by retailers. This difference reflects the reallocation of household expenditures across retailers, a feature of the data which we document and quantify, rather than sales. We propose a simple model with household store-switching and assess its implications for business cycles and policymakers.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Gee Hee Hong, 2013. "The Cyclicality of Sales, Regular and Effective Prices: Business Cycle and Policy Implications," Staff Working Papers 13-1, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:13-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Keywords

    Inflation and prices; Monetary policy framework; Transmission of monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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