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Menu Costs and Asymmetric Price Adjustment

  • Ellingsen, Tore
  • Friberg, Richard
  • Hassler, John

We study optimal price setting by a monopolist in an infinite horizon model with stochastic costs, moderate inflation, and costly price adjustment. For realistic parameters, chosen to replicate observed frequencies of price changes, the model fits numerically several empirical regularities. In particular, price reductions are larger but less frequent than price increases, and prices respond considerably faster to cost increases than to cost decreases. The associated kink in the steady state short-run Phillips curve implies that the output loss associated with a small negative inflation surprise is about twice as large as the output gain associated with a small positive inflation surprise.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5749.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5749
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  1. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1987. "The Relative Rigidity of Monopoly Pricing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 917-26, December.
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  6. Sam Peltzman, 1998. "Prices Rise Faster Than They Fall," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 142, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  7. Daniel Levy & Georg Muller & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2002. "Holiday Price Rigidity and Cost of Price Adjustment," Emory Economics 0208, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  8. Borenstein, Severin & Cameron, A Colin & Gilbert, Richard, 1997. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 305-39, February.
  9. Neumark, David & Sharpe, Steven A, 1992. "Market Structure and the Nature of Price Rigidity: Evidence from the Market for Consumer Deposits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 657-80, May.
  10. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1983. "Optimum Pricing Policy under Stochastic Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 513-29, July.
  11. Eduardo Schwartz & James E. Smith, 2000. "Short-Term Variations and Long-Term Dynamics in Commodity Prices," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(7), pages 893-911, July.
  12. Kuran, Timur, 1983. "Asymmetric Price Rigidity and Inflationary Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 373-82, June.
  13. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 2005. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," Macroeconomics 0505012, EconWPA.
  14. Leif Danziger, 1998. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustment," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 83, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  15. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Álvarez & Hervé le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lünnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2005. "Price setting in the euro area: Some stylized facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0528, Banco de Espa�a.
  16. Roland Benabou & Jerzy Konieczny, 1993. "On Inflation and Output with Costly Price Changes: A Simple Unifying Result," NBER Technical Working Papers 0135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Tsiddon, Daniel, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902, October.
  19. Konieczny, Jerzy D, 1990. "Inflation, Output and Labour Productivity When Prices Are Changed Infrequently," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(226), pages 201-18, May.
  20. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  21. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1997. "Aggregation and Optimization with State-Dependent Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 601-626, May.
  22. 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.
  23. Ball, L. & Mankiw, N.G., 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1602, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  24. Floden, Martin & Wilander, Fredrik, 2006. "State dependent pricing, invoicing currency, and exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 178-196, September.
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