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Menu Costs, Relative Prices, and Inflation: Evidence for Canada

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  • Robert Amano
  • Tiff Macklem

Abstract

Authors' note: Subsequent to completing this Working Paper, we realized that the way we constructed the weighted relative prices, ri, as described on page 8, is not invariant to the rate of inflation and this introduces a bias in favour of the menu-cost hypothesis. Preliminary results with a correction to this problem reveal that it affects the quantitative results. We are currently revisiting our empirical analysis more completely to consider the quantitative and qualitative implications of removing this bias. The menu-cost models of price adjustment developed by Ball and Mankiw (1994;1995) predict that short-run movements in inflation should be positively related to the skewness and the variance of the distribution of disaggregated relative-price shocks in each period. We test these predictions on Canadian data using the distribution of changes in disaggregated producer prices to measure the skewness and standard deviation of relative-price shocks. We find the Canadian data, both in the context of partial correlations and standard price Phillips curve equations, are highly supportive of the predictions that arise from the menu-cost models. Indeed, we find that the positive relationship between inflation and the skewness of the distribution of relative-price shocks is one of the most robust features of the Canadian Phillips curve and significantly improves our ability to explain inflation dynamics.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Amano & Tiff Macklem, 1997. "Menu Costs, Relative Prices, and Inflation: Evidence for Canada," Staff Working Papers 97-14, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:97-14
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrés Langebaek R. & Eliana González Molano, 2007. "Inflación Y Precios Relativos En Colombia," Borradores de Economia 459, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. María Ángeles Caraballo & Carlos Usabiaga, 2006. "Análisis Desagregado de la Inflación: Una Aplicación Regional," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2006/07, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    3. Dutta, Shantanu, et al, 1999. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 683-703, November.
    4. M. Angeles Caraballo & Carlos Dabus & Carlos Usabiaga, 2006. "Relative prices and inflation: new evidence from different inflationary contexts," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(16), pages 1931-1944.
    5. Sartaj Rasool Rather & Sunil Paul & S. Raja Sethu Durai, 2015. "Inflation forecasting and the distribution of price changes," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 226-232.
    6. Constantina Kottaridi & Mendez-Carbajo Diego & D. Thomakos Dimitrios, 2009. "Inflation Dynamics and the Cross-Sectional Distribution of Prices in the E.U. Periphery," Springer Books, in: Takashi Kamihigashi & Laixun Zhao (ed.), International Trade and Economic Dynamics, pages 449-475, Springer.
    7. Caraballo Pou, M. Angeles & Dabus, Carlos, 2008. "Nominal rigidities, skewness and inflation regimes," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 16-33, March.
    8. Alsamara, Mouyad Kassm & Mrabet, Zouhair & Elafif, Mohamed & Gangopadhyay, Partha, 2017. "The asymmetric effects of oil price on economic growth in Turkey and Saudi Arabia: new evidence from nonlinear ARDL approach," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 97-118.
    9. Maria A. Caraballo & Carlos Usabiaga, 2006. "Inflation and Supply Shocks in Spain: A Regional Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa06p335, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Sartaj Rasool Rather, 2019. "Asymmetric impact of relative price shocks in presence of trend inflation," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(9), pages 755-758, May.
    11. Döpke Jörg & Pierdzioch Christian, 2003. "Inflation and the Skewness of the Distribution of Relative Price Changes: Empirical Evidence for Germany / Inflation und die Schiefe der Verteilung relativer Preisänderungen: Empirische Evidenz für De," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 223(2), pages 136-158, April.
    12. María Ángeles Caraballo & Carlos Dabús., 2008. "The Determinants of Relative Price Variability: Further Evidence from Argentina," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 45(132), pages 235-255.
    13. M. Angeles Caraballo & Carlos Usabiaga, 2009. "The relevance of supply shocks for inflation: the spanish case," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 753-764.
    14. Döpke, Jörg & Pierdzioch, Christian, 2001. "Inflation and the Skewness of the Distribution of Relative Price Changes: Empirical Evidence for Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1059, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    15. Carlos Usabiaga & María à ngeles Caraballo, 2004. "Inflation and Nominal Rigidities in Spanish Regions: The Ball and Mankiw Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa04p12, European Regional Science Association.
    16. Sartaj Rather, 2016. "Asymmetric Impact of Relative Price Shocks in Presence of Trend Inflation," Working Papers id:11477, eSocialSciences.
    17. Mª Ángeles Caraballo Pou & Carlos Dabús & Diego Caramuta, 2006. "A Non-linear "Inflation-Relative Prices Variability" Relationship: Evidence from Latin America," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2006/09, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    18. Armas, Adrián & Vallejos , Lucy & Vega, Marco, 2011. "Indicadores tendenciales de inflación y su relevancia como variables indicativas de política monetaria," Revista Estudios Económicos, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, issue 20, pages 27-56.
    19. Sartaj Rasool Rather & S. Raja Sethu Durai & M. Ramachandran, 2015. "Price Rigidity, Inflation and the Distribution of Relative Price Changes," South Asian Journal of Macroeconomics and Public Finance, , vol. 4(2), pages 258-287, December.
    20. Mª Ángeles Caraballo Pou & Carlos Dabús, 2005. "Nominal rigidities, relative prices and skewness," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2005/17, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    21. Ángel Estrada & Ignacio Hernando, 1999. "Microeconomic Price Adjustments and Inflation: Evidence from Spanish Sectoral Data," Working Papers 9921, Banco de España.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation and prices; Monetary policy framework;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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