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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. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," NBER Working Papers 11820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  3. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Engel, Eduardo M.R.A., 2007. "Price stickiness in Ss models: New interpretations of old results," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 100-121, September.
  4. Mark Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," Macroeconomics 0402020, EconWPA.
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  7. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1992. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 4090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bonomo, Marco & Carvalho, Carlos, 2004. "Endogenous Time-Dependent Rules and Inflation Inertia," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1015-41, December.
  9. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Working Papers 05-4, Bank of Canada.
  10. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips Curve with an Ss Foundation," NBER Working Papers 11971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1992. "Microeconomic Rigidities and Aggregate Price Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 4162, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Caplin, Andrew S & Spulber, Daniel F, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-25, November.
  14. 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.).
  15. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2007. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 171-199.
  16. Christian Hellwig & Ariel Burstein, 2007. "Prices and Market Shares in a Menu Cost Model," 2007 Meeting Papers 327, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. 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.
  18. Leif Danziger, 1999. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 878-901, September.
  19. 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.
  20. Virgiliu Midrigan, 2005. "Menu Costs, Multi-Product Firms and Aggregate Fluctuations," Macroeconomics 0511004, EconWPA.
  21. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King, 2005. "Implications of state-dependent pricing for dynamic macroeconomic models," Working Papers 05-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  22. Devereux, Michael B & Yetman, James, 2003. " Predetermined Prices and the Persistent Effects of Money on Output," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 729-41, October.
  23. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2010. "Monetary Non-Neutrality in a Multisector Menu Cost Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 961-1013, August.
  24. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1986. "Finite automata play the repeated prisoner's dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 83-96, June.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
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