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How do individual UK consumer prices behave?

Listed author(s):
  • Bunn, Philip

    ()

    (Bank of England)

  • Ellis, Colin

    ()

    (BVCA and University of Birmingham)

This paper examines the behaviour of individual consumer prices in the United Kingdom, and uncovers a number of stylised facts about pricing behaviour. First, on average 19% of prices change each month, although this falls to 15% if sales are excluded. Second, the probability of price changes is not constant over time. Third, goods prices change more frequently than services prices. Fourth, the distribution of price changes is wide, although a significant number of changes are relatively small and close to zero. Fifth, prices that change more frequently tend to do so by less. We find that conventional pricing theories struggle to match these results, particularly the marked heterogeneity, which argues against the use of ‘representative agent’ models.

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File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/workingpapers/2011/wp438.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 438.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 31 Oct 2011
Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0438
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  1. 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.
  2. Felix Ritchie, 2008. "Secure access to confidential microdata: four years of the Virtual Microdata Laboratory," Economic & Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan;Office for National Statistics, vol. 2(5), pages 29-34, May.
  3. Baumgartner, Josef & Glatzer, Ernst & Rumler, Fabio & Stiglbauer, Alfred, 2005. "How frequently do consumer prices change in Austria? Evidence from micro CPI data," Working Paper Series 523, European Central Bank.
  4. 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.
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  8. Dias, Mónica & Dias, Daniel & Neves, Pedro D., 2004. "Stylised features of price setting behaviour in Portugal: 1992-2001," Working Paper Series 332, European Central Bank.
  9. Philip Bunn & Colin Ellis, 2012. "How do Individual UK Producer Prices Behave?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(558), pages 16-34, February.
  10. 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.
  11. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  12. Kurri, Samu, 2007. "Price changes in Finland: some evidence from micro CPI data," Working Paper Series 728, European Central Bank.
  13. 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.
  14. Hoffmann, Johannes & Kurz-Kim, Jeong-Ryeol, 2006. "Consumer price adjustment under the microscope: Germany in a period of low inflation," Working Paper Series 652, European Central Bank.
  15. Lünnemann, Patrick & Mathä, Thomas Y., 2005. "Consumer price behaviour in Luxembourg: evidence from micro CPI data," Working Paper Series 541, European Central Bank.
  16. Fabiani, Silvia & Hernando, Ignacio & Loupias, Claire & Mathä, Thomas Y. & Sabbatini, Roberto & Landau, Bettina & Stokman, Ad C.J. & Druant, Martine & Kwapil, Claudia & Stahl, Harald & Martins, Fernan, 2005. "The pricing behaviour of firms in the euro area: new survey evidence," Working Paper Series 535, European Central Bank.
  17. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
  18. Aucremanne, Luc & Dhyne, Emmanuel, 2004. "How frequently do prices change? Evidence based on the micro data underlying the Belgian CPI," Working Paper Series 331, European Central Bank.
  19. 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.
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