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Price setting with menu cost for multi-product firms

Listed author(s):
  • 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. Pasten, Ernesto & Schoenle, Raphael, 2016. "Rational inattention, multi-product firms and the neutrality of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 1-16.
  2. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
  3. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  4. Bhattarai, Saroj & Schoenle, Raphael, 2014. "Multiproduct firms and price-setting: Theory and evidence from U.S. producer prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 178-192.
  5. Alberto Cavallo & Roberto Rigobon, 2011. "The Distribution of the Size of Price Changes," NBER Working Papers 16760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2009. "How rigid are producer prices?," Staff Reports 407, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Fernando E. Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2011. "Optimal Price Setting With Observation and Menu Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1909-1960.
  8. Klenow, Peter J. & Malin, Benjamin A., 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 6, pages 231-284 Elsevier.
  9. Avinash Dixit, 1991. "Analytical Approximations in Models of Hysteresis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 141-151.
  10. 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, June.
  11. Laurent Baudry & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Sevestre & Sylvie Tarrieu, 2007. "What do Thirteen Million Price Records have to Say about Consumer Price Rigidity?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(2), pages 139-183, April.
  12. Leif Danziger, 1999. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 878-901, September.
  13. repec:pri:cepsud:211schoenle is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo & Josephine Smith, 2014. "How Frequent Are Small Price Changes?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 137-155, April.
  15. Alberto Cavallo, 2015. "Scraped Data and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 21490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  18. 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.
  19. Daniel Tsiddon, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902.
  20. Neiman, Brent, 2010. "Stickiness, synchronization, and passthrough in intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 295-308, April.
  21. francesco lippi & Luigi Paciello & Fernando Alvarez, 2012. "Monetary Shocks with Observation and Menu Costs," 2012 Meeting Papers 439, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  22. Bonomo, Marco & Carvalho, Carlos, 2004. "Endogenous Time-Dependent Rules and Inflation Inertia," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1015-1041, December.
  23. Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2009. "Price adjustments and inflation - evidence from Norwegian consumer price data 1975-2004," Working Paper 2009/11, Norges Bank.
  24. Etienne Gagnon, 2009. "Price Setting during Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1221-1263.
  25. repec:pri:cepsud:193goldberg is not listed on IDEAS
  26. 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.
  27. Robert J. Barro, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26.
  28. 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.
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