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A Sectoral Analysis of Price-Setting Behavior in US Manufacturing Industries

  • Campbell Leith
  • Jim Malley

In this paper we develop a multi-sector model of firms’ pricing behaviour under imperfect competition. We allow for the fact that some goods sold will be for final consumption, while others will be used as intermediate goods in further production. We assume that price setters are constrained by the existence of Calvo (1983) contracts which enables us to measure the extent of price inertia across industrial sectors. We further allow for the possibility that some firms set prices to maximise the discounted value of profits, while others set prices according to a backward-looking rule-ofthumb. We then estimate the resulting price-setting equations for 18 US manufacturing industries defined at the SIC 2-digit level over the period 1959 to 1996. We find that there is statistically significant variability in estimates of price stickiness, ranging from 4 months to almost 1.5 years with significantly more inertia in the setting of durable goods prices. We also find that estimates of backward-looking price-setting behaviour vary, with some industries acting in a purely forward-looking manner, while others are characterized by almost 50 per cent of firms setting prices in a backwardlooking fashion. Finally we find that firms in less competitive industries (characterized by higher average markup-ups) tend to adjust prices less frequently and are less likely to do so in a forward-looking manner.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2003/wp-cesifo-2003-07/cesifo_wp984.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 984.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_984
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  1. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Departmental Working Papers 200112, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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  3. Campbell Leith & Jim Malley, 2002. "Estimated General Equilibrium Models for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy in the US and Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 699, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Campbell Leith & Jim Malley, 2002. "Estimated Open Economy New Keynesian Phillips Curves for the G7," Working Papers 2002_8, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
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  10. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
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  13. Dennis W. Carlton, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," NBER Working Papers 1813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  15. Baxter, Marianne, 1996. "Are Consumer Durables Important for Business Cycles?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 147-55, February.
  16. Linde, Jesper, 2005. "Estimating New-Keynesian Phillips curves: A full information maximum likelihood approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1135-1149, September.
  17. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler & David Lopez-Salido, 2005. "Robustness of the Estimates of the Hybrid New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 11788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2005. "New tests of the new-Keynesian Phillips curve," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1167-1181, September.
  19. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 2115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Fernandez, Roque B, 1981. "A Methodological Note on the Estimation of Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 471-76, August.
  21. Chow, Gregory C & Lin, An-loh, 1971. "Best Linear Unbiased Interpolation, Distribution, and Extrapolation of Time Series by Related Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(4), pages 372-75, November.
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  23. Edith Gagnon & Hashmat Khan, 2001. "New Phillips Curve with Alternative Marginal Cost Measures forCanada, the United States, and the Euro Area," Working Papers 01-25, Bank of Canada.
  24. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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