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Nominal rigidities, relative prices and skewness

The menu costs model developed by Ball and Mankiw (BM)(1994,1995) predicts that inflation is positively related to the skewness of price changes distribution. We test this prediction in different inflationary contexts: Spain (1975-2002) and Argentina (1960-1989). We find a positive inflation-skewness relationship in both countries at low inflation, even though the mean annual inflation rates were very different: 2,2% for Spain and 23% for Argentina. Therefore, the threshold of low inflation under which the menu costs model is suitable is determined endogenously, and it depends on the inflationary experience of each economy. In the higher inflation periods skewness is not significant. Finally, our results suggest that the menu-costs model is not suitable beyond certain threshold of inflation.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number E2005/17.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2005_17
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  1. Donald W.K. Andrews & Werner Ploberger, 1992. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only Under the Alternative," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1015, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 4089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ghysels, E. & Perron, P., 1990. "The Effect Of Seasonal Adjustment Filters On Tests For A Unit Root," Papers 355, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  4. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Vining, Daniel R, Jr & Elwertowski, Thomas C, 1976. "The Relationship between Relative Prices and the General Price Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 699-708, September.
  6. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Jörg Döpke & Christian Pierdzioch, 2001. "Inflation and the Skewness of the Distribution of Relative Price Changes: Empirical Evidence for Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1059, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Dabus, Carlos, 2000. "Inflationary regimes and relative price variability: evidence from Argentina," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 535-547, August.
  9. Donald W. K. Andrews, 2003. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point: A Corrigendum," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 395-397, January.
  10. Simon Hall & Anthony Yates, 1998. "Are there downward nominal rigidities in product markets?," Bank of England working papers 80, Bank of England.
  11. María Ángeles Caraballo & Carlos Usabiaga, 2003. "Análisis de la estructura de la inflación de las regiones españolas: La metodología de Ball y Mankiw," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2003/44, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  12. Ghysels, Eric, 1990. "Unit-Root Tests and the Statistical Pitfalls of Seasonal Adjustment: The Case of U.S. Postwar Real Gross National Product," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(2), pages 145-52, April.
  13. Richard De Abreu Lourenco & David Gruen, 1995. "Price Stickiness and Inflation," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9502, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  14. Robert A. Amano & R. Tiff Macklem, 1997. "Menu Costs, Relative Prices, and Inflation: Evidence for Canada," Working Papers 97-14, Bank of Canada.
  15. Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
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