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Multiproduct Firms and Price-Setting: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Producer Prices

  • Saroj Bhattarai

    (Pennsylvania State University)

  • Raphael Schoenle

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Brandeis University)

In this paper, we establish three new facts about price-setting by multi-product firms and contribute a model that can explain our findings. On the empirical side, using micro-data on U.S. producer prices, we first show that firms selling more goods adjust their prices more frequently but on average by smaller amounts. Moreover, the higher the number of goods, the lower is the fraction of positive price changes and the more dispersed the distribution of price changes. Second, we document substantial synchronization of price changes within firms across products and show that synchronization plays a dominant role in explaining pricing dynamics. Third, we find that within-firm synchronization of price changes increases as the number of goods increases. On the theoretical side, we present a state-dependent pricing model where multi-product firms face both aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks. When we allow for firm-specific menu costs and trend inflation, the model matches the empirical findings.

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File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP15.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP15R.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School in its series Working Papers with number 15.

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Length: 86 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:15
Contact details of provider: Postal: MS032, P.O. Box 9110, Waltham, MA 02454-9110
Web page: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/

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  1. V. Bhaskar, 1998. "On Endogenously Staggered Prices," Macroeconomics 9809007, EconWPA.
  2. Emmanuel Dhyne & Jerzy Konieczny, 2007. "Temporal Distribution of Price Changes: Staggering in the Large and Synchronization in the Small," Working Paper Series 01-07, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jul 2007.
  3. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1992. "Staggered and Synchronized Price Policies under Inflation: The Multiproduct Monopoly Case," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 331-59, April.
  4. Saul Lach & Daniel Tsiddon, 1994. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multipro-duct Firms," NBER Working Papers 4759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi, 2013. "Price setting with menu cost for multi-product firms," EIEF Working Papers Series 1302, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Feb 2013.
  6. Pinelopi K Goldberg & Amit K Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Multiproduct Firms and Product Turnover in the Developing World: Evidence from India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 1042-1049, November.
  7. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Working Papers 05-4, Bank of Canada.
  9. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
  10. Etienne Gagnon, 2009. "Price Setting During Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1221-1263, August.
  11. Martin S. Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo & Josephine Smith, 2012. "How Frequent Are Small Price Changes?," NBER Working Papers 17956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Carlos Carvalho, 2005. "Heterogeneity in Price Setting and the Real Effects of Monetary Shocks," Macroeconomics 0509017, EconWPA, revised 12 Sep 2005.
  13. Klenow, Peter J. & Malin, Benjamin A., 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 6, pages 231-284 Elsevier.
  14. Pinelopi Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2009. "How Rigid Are Producer Prices?," Working Papers 1184, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  15. David Cornille & Maarten Dossche, 2008. "Some Evidence on the Adjustment of Producer Prices," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(3), pages 489-518, 09.
  16. Gita Gopinath & Roberto Rigobon, 2006. "Sticky Borders," NBER Working Papers 12095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Carvalho Carlos, 2006. "Heterogeneity in Price Stickiness and the Real Effects of Monetary Shocks," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-58, December.
  18. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 514-533, May.
  19. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc P. & Mihov, Ilian, 2006. "Sticky prices and monetary policy: Evidence from disaggregated US data," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/14, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  20. Neiman, Brent, 2010. "Stickiness, synchronization, and passthrough in intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 295-308, April.
  21. Fisher, Timothy C. G. & Konieczny, Jerzy D., 2000. "Synchronization of price changes by multiproduct firms: evidence from Canadian newspaper prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 271-277, September.
  22. Virgiliu Midrigan, 2011. "Menu Costs, Multiproduct Firms, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1139-1180, 07.
  23. Saul Lach & Daniel Tsiddon, 2007. "Small price changes and menu costs," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 649-656.
  24. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Frequency of Price Adjustment and Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 675-727, May.
  25. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi, 2010. "A note on price adjustment with menu cost for multi-product firms," EIEF Working Papers Series 1018, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Dec 2010.
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