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Rigid Pricing and Rationally Inattentive Consumer

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  • Filip Matejka

Abstract

This paper proposes a mechanism leading to rigid pricing as an optimal strategy. It applies a framework of rational inattention to study the pricing strategies of a monopolistic seller facing a consumer with limited information capacity. The consumer needs to process information about prices, while the seller is perfectly attentive. It turns out that the seller chooses to price discretely even for a continuous range of unit input costs, i.e. charges a finite set of different prices only. The price usually stays constant when unit input cost changes only a little. The seller does so to provide the consumer with easily observable prices and thus stimulate her to consume more. In the model's dynamic version, this mechanism implies that prices respond to cost shocks with a delay.

Suggested Citation

  • Filip Matejka, 2010. "Rigid Pricing and Rationally Inattentive Consumer," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp409, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp409
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    Cited by:

    1. Filip Matêjka & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 272-298, January.
    2. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2017. "A “quantized” approach to rational inattention," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 50-71.
    3. Kristoffer P. Nimark, 2014. "Man-Bites-Dog Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2320-2367, August.
    4. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Inattention to Rare Events," CEPR Discussion Papers 8626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Pavan, Alessandro & Vives, Xavier, 2015. "Information, Coordination, and Market Frictions: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PB), pages 407-426.
    6. Jean-Paul L'Huillier, 2012. "Consumers' Imperfect Information and Price Rigidities," EIEF Working Papers Series 1209, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Aug 2012.
    7. Tim Willems, 2017. "Actively Learning by Pricing: A Model of an Experimenting Seller," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2216-2239, September.
    8. Xavier Gabaix, 2014. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1661-1710.
    9. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2010. "A "quantum" approach to rational inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 7739, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Antonella Tutino, 2013. "Rationally inattentive consumption choices," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 421-439, July.
    11. Jiang, Gege & Fosgerau, Mogens & Lo, Hong K., 2020. "Route choice, travel time variability, and rational inattention," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 188-207.
    12. Hahn, Volker & Marenčák, Michal, 2020. "Price points and price dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 127-144.
    13. Kosuke Aoki & Hibiki Ichiue & Tatsushi Okuda, 2019. "Consumers' Price Beliefs, Central Bank Communication, and Inflation Dynamics," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 19-E-14, Bank of Japan.
    14. Angeletos, G.-M. & Lian, C., 2016. "Incomplete Information in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1065-1240, Elsevier.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rational inattention; nominal rigidity;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles

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