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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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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
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  1. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. BONOMO, Marco & GARCIA, René, 1997. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Infrequent Information with Adjustment Costs," Cahiers de recherche 9716, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  3. Sergio A. L. Alves & Waldyr D. Areosa, 2005. "Targets and Inflation Dynamics," Working Papers Series 100, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  4. 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.
  5. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708.
  6. Almeida, Heitor & Bonomo, Marco, 2002. "Optimal state-dependent rules, credibility, and inflation inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1317-1336, October.
  7. Mark Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," Macroeconomics 0402020, EconWPA.
  8. Marc Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Inflation-Targeting Rules," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 93-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Simon Hall & Mark Walsh & Anthony Yates, 1997. "How do UK companies set prices?," Bank of England working papers 67, Bank of England.
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