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The Role of Consumer's Risk Aversion on Price Rigidity

  • Sergio A. Lago Alves
  • Mirta N. S. Bugarin

This paper aims to contribute to the research agenda on the sources of price rigidity. Based on broadly accepted assumptions on the behavior of economic agents, we show that firms’ competition can lead to the adoption of sticky prices as a sub-game perfect equilibrium strategy to optimally deal with consumers’ risk aversion, even if firms have no adjustment costs. To this end, we build a model economy based on consumption centers with several complete markets and relax some traditional assumptions used in standard monetary policy models by assuming that households have imperfect information about the inefficient time-varying cost shocks faced by the .rms. Furthermore, we assume that the timing of events is such that, at every period, consumers have access to the actual prices prevailing in the market only after choosing a particular consumption center. Since such choices under uncertainty may decrease the expected utilities of risk-averse consumers, competitive firms adopt some degree of price stickiness in order to minimize the price uncertainty and "attract more customers".

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File URL: http://www.bcb.gov.br/pec/wps/ingl/wps121.pdf
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Paper provided by Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department in its series Working Papers Series with number 121.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bcb:wpaper:121
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.bcb.gov.br/?english

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  1. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1989. "State-Dependent Pricing And The Dynamics Of Money And Output," Discussion Papers 1989_32, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Bonomo, Marco Antônio Cesar & Garcia, René, 2000. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Infrequent Information With Adjustment Costs," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 384, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  3. Mark Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2003. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," Working Papers 2003-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  4. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Inflation Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521335614 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Almeida Neto, Heitor Vieira de & Bonomo, Marco Antônio Cesar, 1999. "Optimal State-Dependent Rules, Credibility, and Inflation Inertia," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 349, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  7. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "Interest-Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Working Papers 6618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sergio A. L. Alves & Waldyr D. Areosa, 2005. "Targets and Inflation Dynamics," Working Papers Series 100, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  9. Jeffery Amato, Thomas Laubach, 2000. "Monetary Policy In An Estimated Optimization-Based Model With Sticky Prices And Wages," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 303, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Simon Hall & Mark Walsh & Anthony Yates, 1997. "How do UK companies set prices?," Bank of England working papers 67, Bank of England.
  11. Ravenna, Federico & Walsh, Carl E., 2006. "Optimal monetary policy with the cost channel," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 199-216, March.
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