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Information-Constrained State-Dependent Pricing

  • Michael Woodford

    ()

    (Columbia University - Department of Economics)

I present a generalization of the standard (full-information) model of state- dependent pricing in which decisions about when to review a firm's existing price must be made on the basis of imprecise awareness of current market con- ditions. The imperfect information is endogenized using a variant of the theory of "rational inattention" proposed by Sims (1998, 2003, 2006). This results in a one-parameter family of models, indexed by the cost of information, which nests both the standard state-dependent pricing model and the Calvo model of price adjustment as limiting cases (corresponding to a zero information cost and an unboundedly large information cost respectively). For intermediate lev- els of the information cost, the model is equivalent to a "generalized Ss model" with a continuous "adjustment hazard" of the kind proposed by Caballero and Engel (1993a, 1993b), but provides an economic motivation for the hazard func- tion and very specific predictions about its form. For high enough levels of the information cost, the Calvo model of price-setting is found to be a reasonable approximation to the exact equilibrium dynamics, except in the case of (infre- quent) large shocks. When the model is calibrated to match the frequency and size distribution of price changes observed in microeconomic data sets, prices are found to be much less flexible than in a full-information state-dependent pricing model, and only about 20 percent more flexible than under a Calvo model with the same average frequency of price adjustment.

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Paper provided by Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0809-12.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:clu:wpaper:0809-12
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  1. Eduardo Engel & Ricardo Caballero, 2007. "Price stickiness in Ss models: new interpretations for old results," 2007 Meeting Papers 903, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Michael T. Kiley, 1999. "Partial adjustment and staggered price setting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Caballero, R.J., 1994. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: Generalized (S,s) Approach," Working papers 94-32, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King, 2005. "Implications of state-dependent pricing for dynamic macroeconomic models," Working Papers 05-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Devereux, Michael B & Yetman, James, 2001. "Predetermined Prices and the Persistent Effects of Money on Output," CEPR Discussion Papers 2917, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," NBER Working Papers 11820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Filip Matejka, 2010. "Rationally Inattentive Seller: Sales and Discrete Pricing," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp408, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  8. Robert Lucas & Mike Golosov, 2004. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," 2004 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips curve with an Ss foundation," Working Papers 06-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  11. 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.
  12. Ariel Rubinstein, 1997. "Finite automata play the repeated prisioners dilemma," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1639, David K. Levine.
  13. Jon Steinsson & Emi Nakamura, 2007. "Monetary Non-Neutrality in a Multi-Sector Menu Cost Model," 2007 Meeting Papers 736, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2007. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Discussion Papers 07-007, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  15. Marco Bonomo & Carlos Carvalho, 2004. "Endogenous Time-Dependent Rules and Inflation Inertia," Macroeconomics 0402005, EconWPA, revised 19 May 2005.
  16. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-83, May.
  17. Ariel Burstein & Christian Hellwig, 2007. "Prices and Market Shares in a Menu Cost Model," NBER Working Papers 13455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Levin, Andrew & Yun, Tack, 2007. "Reconsidering the natural rate hypothesis in a New Keynesian framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1344-1365, July.
  19. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Engel, Eduardo M. R. A., 1993. "Microeconomic rigidities and aggregate price dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 697-711, May.
  20. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  21. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 514-533, May.
  22. Virgiliu Midrigan, 2005. "Menu Costs, Multi-Product Firms and Aggregate Fluctuations," Macroeconomics 0511004, EconWPA.
  23. Paustian, Matthias, 2005. "The role of contracting schemes for the welfare costs of nominal rigidities over the business cycle," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,22, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  24. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
  25. Leif Danziger, 1998. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustment," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 83, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  26. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing And The General Equilibrium Dynamics Of Money And Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690, May.
  27. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  28. Burstein, Ariel T., 2006. "Inflation and output dynamics with state-dependent pricing decisions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1235-1257, October.
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