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Sticky Prices, Coordination, and Collusion

New Keynesian models of price setting under monopolistic competition involve two kinds of inefficiency: the price level is too high because firms ignore an aggregate demand externality, and when there are costs of changing prices, price stickiness may be an equilibrium response to changes in nominal money even when all agents would be better off if all adjusted prices. This paper models the consequences of allowing firms to coordinate, enforcing the coordination by punishing deviators; this is equivalent to modeling firms as an implicit cartel playing a punishment game. We show that coordination can partially or fully eliminate the first kind of inefficiency, depending on the magnitude of the punishment, but cannot always remove the second. The response of prices to a monetary shock will depend on the magnitude of the punishment, and may be asymmetric. Implications for the welfare cost of fluctuations also differ from the standard monopolistic competition case.

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Paper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 99-5.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:99-5
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912

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  1. Caplin, Andrew S & Spulber, Daniel F, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-25, November.
  2. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
  3. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708, August.
  4. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  5. Kyle Bagwell, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000081, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1991. "Markups and the Business Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 63-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Karl Brunner & Allan H. Meltzer, 1968. "Liquidity Traps for Money, Bank Credit, and Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 1.
  8. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 183-203, April.
  9. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
  10. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-38, May.
  11. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
  12. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 2005. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," Macroeconomics 0505012, EconWPA.
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