IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/boe/boeewp/0378.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do supermarket prices change from week to week?

Author

Listed:
  • Ellis, Colin

    () (Daiwa Securities SMBC Europe Ltd)

Abstract

This paper examines the behaviour of supermarket prices in the United Kingdom, using weekly scanner data supplied by Nielsen. A number of stylised facts about pricing behaviour are uncovered. First, prices change very frequently in supermarkets, with 40% of prices changing each week, and even controlling for ‘temporary’ changes, a quarter of prices change each week. Importantly, there is evidence that focusing on monthly observations, rather than weekly ones, overstates the implied stickiness of prices. Second, the probability of price changes is not constant over time – all product categories have declining hazard functions. Third, the range of price changes is very wide, with some very large price cuts and price rises; but despite this, a significant number of price changes are very small. Fourth, there appears to be little link between the frequency and magnitude of price changes – prices that change less frequently do not tend to change by more. Fifth, the strongest correlation between price and volume changes is contemporaneous, suggesting that prices and volumes move together from week to week. And sixth, rough analysis based on simplifying assumptions suggests that consumers are fairly price sensitive: volumes change by more than prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellis, Colin, 2009. "Do supermarket prices change from week to week?," Bank of England working papers 378, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0378
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/working-paper/2009/do-supermarket-prices-change-from-week-to-week.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
    2. Fabiani, S. & Druant, M. & Hernando, I. & Kwapil, C. & Landau, B. & Loupias, C. & Martins, F. & Mathä, T. & Sabbatini, R. & Stahl, H. & Stockman, A., 2005. "The Pricing Behaviour of Firms in the Euro Area: New Survey Evidence," Working papers 135, Banque de France.
    3. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap & Peter E. Rossi, 2003. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 15-37, March.
    4. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2007. "Sales and the real effects of monetary policy," Working Papers 652, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    5. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-538.
    7. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    8. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni & Ilian Mihov, 2009. "Sticky Prices and Monetary Policy: Evidence from Disaggregated US Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 350-384, March.
    9. repec:taf:nzecpp:v:51:y:2017:i:3:p:217-236 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Laurent Baudry & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Sevestre & Sylvie Tarrieu, 2007. "What do Thirteen Million Price Records have to Say about Consumer Price Rigidity?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(2), pages 139-183, April.
    11. Luis J. Álvarez & Pablo Burriel & Ignacio Hernando, 2005. "Do decreasing hazard functions for price changes make any sense?," Working Papers 0508, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    12. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
    13. David Amirault & Carolyn Kwan & Gordon Wilkinson, 2005. "A Survey of the Price-Setting Behaviour of Canadian Companies," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2004(Winter), pages 29-40.
    14. Mumtaz, Haroon & Zabczyk, Pawel & Ellis, Colin, 2009. "What lies beneath: what can disaggregated data tell us about the behaviour of prices?," Bank of England working papers 364, Bank of England.
    15. Silvia Fabiani & Martine Druant & Ignacio Hernando & Claudia Kwapil & Bettina Landau & Claire Loupias & Fernando Martins & Thomas Mathä & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Ad Stokman, 2006. "What Firms' Surveys Tell Us about Price-Setting Behavior in the Euro Area," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(3), September.
    16. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    17. Eichenbaum, Martin & Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2008. "Reference Prices and Nominal Rigidities," CEPR Discussion Papers 6709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Miles Parker, 2017. "Price-setting behaviour in New Zealand," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(3), pages 217-236, September.
    19. McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2007. "State-dependency and firm-level optimization: a contribution to Calvo price staggering," Working Paper Series 806, European Central Bank.
    20. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Prices are not rigid in the UK, too
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-01-08 02:15:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:cml:incocp:2sp-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Marcelo Delajara & José Antonio Murillo Garza, 2012. "Weekday with Low Prices: Evidence on Daily Seasonality of Foods, Beverages, and Tobacco Prices," Working Papers 2012-09, Banco de México.
    3. Fernando Borraz & Leandro Zipitría & Enrique López Enciso, 2013. "Price Setting in Retailing: the Case of Uruguay," Investigación Conjunta-Joint Research,in: Laura Inés D'Amato & Enrique López Enciso & María Teresa Ramírez Giraldo (ed.), Inflationary Dynamics, Persistence, and Prices and Wages Formation, edition 1, chapter 9, pages 193-220 Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
    4. Chakraborty, Ratula & Dobson, Paul W. & Seaton, Jonathan S. & Waterson, Michael, 2015. "Pricing in inflationary times: The penny drops," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 71-86.
    5. Steffen Ahrens & Stephen Sacht, 2014. "Estimating a high-frequency New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 607-628, March.
    6. Gastón Chaumont & Miguel Fuentes & Felipe Labbé & Alberto Naudon, 2011. "Dinámica de Precios en Chile: Evidencia con datos de Supermercados," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 642, Central Bank of Chile.
    7. Ahrens, Steffen & Hartmann, Matthias, 2014. "State-dependence vs. timedependence: An empirical multi-country investigation of price sluggishness," Kiel Working Papers 1907, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Abe, Naohito & Tonogi, Akiyuki, 2010. "Micro and macro price dynamics in daily data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 716-728, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Supermarket prices; behaviour of prices; demand elasticities;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Economic Logic blog

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0378. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Digital Media Team). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/boegvuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.