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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mª Ángeles Caraballo Pou & Carlos Dabús, 2005. "Nominal rigidities, relative prices and skewness," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2005/17, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  • Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2005_17

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    1. Robert A. Amano & R. Tiff Macklem, 1997. "Menu Costs, Relative Prices, and Inflation: Evidence for Canada," Staff Working Papers 97-14, Bank of Canada.
    2. Hansen, Bruce E., 2000. "Testing for structural change in conditional models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 93-115, July.
    3. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
    4. Ghysels, Eric & Perron, Pierre, 1993. "The effect of seasonal adjustment filters on tests for a unit root," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1-2), pages 57-98.
    5. Richard De Abreu Lourenco & David Gruen, 1995. "Price Stickiness and Inflation," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9502, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    6. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1994. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 247-261, March.
    7. Simon Hall & Anthony Yates, 1998. "Are there downward nominal rigidities in product markets?," Bank of England working papers 80, Bank of England.
    8. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 161-193.
    9. Döpke Jörg & Pierdzioch Christian, 2003. "Inflation and the Skewness of the Distribution of Relative Price Changes: Empirical Evidence for Germany / Inflation und die Schiefe der Verteilung relativer Preisänderungen: Empirische Evidenz für De," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 223(2), pages 136-158, April.
    10. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-856, July.
    11. Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
    12. Dabus, Carlos, 2000. "Inflationary regimes and relative price variability: evidence from Argentina," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 535-547, August.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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 145-152, April.
    16. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria A. Caraballo & Carlos Usabiaga, 2006. "Inflation and Supply Shocks in Spain: A Regional Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa06p335, European Regional Science Association.
    2. M. Angeles Caraballo & Carlos Usabiaga, 2009. "The relevance of supply shocks for inflation: the spanish case," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 753-764.

    More about this item


    menu costs; skewness; relative prices; inflation regimes;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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