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Price setting with menu cost for multi-product firms

  • Alvarez, Fernando
  • Lippi, Francesco

We model the pricing decisions of a multi-product firm that faces a fixed 'menu' cost: once the cost is paid, the firm can adjust the price of all its products. We characterize analytically the steady state firm’s decision in terms of the structural parameters: the variability of the flexible prices, the curvature of the profit function, the size of the menu cost, and the number of products that are sold. We provide expressions for the steady state frequency of adjustment, the hazard rate of price adjustments, and the size distribution of price changes, all in terms of the structural parameters. We study analytically the impulse response of aggregate prices and output to a monetary shock. The cumulative response of output to a monetary shock is the product of three terms: the steady state standard deviation of price changes, the average time elapsed between price changes, and a function of both the number of products and the size of the monetary shock. The size of the cumulative response of output and the length of the half-life of the response of aggregate prices to a monetary shock increase with the number of products, both of them more than double as the number of products goes from 1 to ten, quickly converging to the ones of Taylor’s staggered price model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8863.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8863
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  1. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  2. Alvarez, Fernando & Lippi, Francesco & Paciello, Luigi, 2013. "Monetary Shocks with Observation and Menu Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 9488, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," 2005 Meeting Papers 290, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Marco Bonomo & Carlos Carvalho, 2004. "Endogenous Time-Dependent Rules and Inflation Inertia," Macroeconomics 0402005, EconWPA, revised 19 May 2005.
  5. Emmanuel Dhyne & Jerzy Konieczny, 2007. "Temporal Distribution of Price Changes : Staggering in the Large and Synchronization in the Small," Working Paper Research 116, National Bank of Belgium.
  6. F. Alvarez & F. Lippi & L. Paciello, 2010. "Optimal price setting with observation and menu costs," 2010 Meeting Papers 478, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Saroj Bhattarai & Raphael Schoenle, 2010. "Multiproduct Firms and Price-Setting: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Producer Prices," Working Papers 1245, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  8. Etienne Gagnon, 2007. "Price setting during low and high inflation: evidence from Mexico," International Finance Discussion Papers 896, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Dutta, Shantanu, et al, 1999. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 683-703, November.
  10. Laurent Baudry & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Sevestre & Sylvie Tarrieu, 2007. "What do thirteen million price records have to say about consumer price rigidity?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00279976, HAL.
  11. Robert J. Barro, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26.
  12. Baccarin, Stefano, 2009. "Optimal impulse control for a multidimensional cash management system with generalized cost functions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 196(1), pages 198-206, July.
  13. Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," NBER Working Papers 15826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ernesto Pasten, 2012. "Rational Inattention, Multi-Product Firms and the Neutrality of Money," 2012 Meeting Papers 346, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2008. "A Phillips Curve with an Ss Foundation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 533-572, 06.
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  19. Leif Danziger, 1998. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustment," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 83, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  20. Pinelopi Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2009. "How Rigid Are Producer Prices?," Working Papers 1184, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  21. repec:pri:cepsud:211schoenle is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-389, April.
  23. Cavallo, Alberto & Rigobon, Roberto, 2011. "The Distribution of the Size of Price Changes," Working Papers 2011-011, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  24. repec:pri:cepsud:193goldberg is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2009. "Price adjustments and inflation - evidence from Norwegian consumer price data 1975-2004," Working Paper 2009/11, Norges Bank.
  26. Daniel Tsiddon, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902.
  27. Avinash Dixit, 1991. "Analytical Approximations in Models of Hysteresis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 141-151.
  28. Alberto Cavallo, 2015. "Scraped Data and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 21490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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