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Price-setting behaviour in Belgium: what can be learned from an ad hoc survey?


  • Aucremanne, Luc
  • Druant, Martine


This paper reports the results of an ad hoc survey on price-setting behaviour conducted in February 2004 among 2,000 Belgian firms. The reported results clearly deviate from a situation of perfect competition and show that firms have some market power. Pricing-to-market is applied by a majority of industrial firms. Prices are rather sticky. The average duration between two consecutive price reviews is 10 months, whereas it amounts to 13 months between two consecutive price changes. Most firms adopt time-dependent price reviewing under normal circumstances. However, when specific events occur, the majority will adopt a state-dependent behaviour. Evidence is found in favour of both nominal (mainly implicit and explicit contracts) and real rigidities (including flat marginal costs and counter-cyclical movements in desired mark-ups). The survey results point to a non-negligible degree of non-optimal price-setting. JEL Classification: D40, E31, L11

Suggested Citation

  • Aucremanne, Luc & Druant, Martine, 2005. "Price-setting behaviour in Belgium: what can be learned from an ad hoc survey?," Working Paper Series 448, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2005448

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2000. "Sticky Price Models of the Business Cycle: Can the Contract Multiplier Solve the Persistence Problem?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1151-1180, September.
    2. Aucremanne, L. & Cornille, D., 2001. "Attractive Prices and Euro-Rounding Effects on Inflation," Papers 17, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
    3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    4. Bayoumi, Tamim & Laxton, Douglas & Pesenti, Paolo, 2004. "Benefits and spillovers of greater competition in Europe: a macroeconomic assessment," Working Paper Series 341, European Central Bank.
    5. Apel, Mikael & Friberg, Richard & Hallsten, Kerstin, 2005. "Microfoundations of Macroeconomic Price Adjustment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Firms," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 313-338, April.
    6. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-666, September.
    7. Luc Aucremanne & Guy Brys & Peter J Rousseeuw & Anja Struyf & Mia Hubert, 2003. "Inflation, relative prices and nominal rigidities," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 81-105 Bank for International Settlements.
    8. Chevalier, Judith A & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Countercyclical Markups: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 703-725, September.
    9. Aucremanne, Luc & Dhyne, Emmanuel, 2004. "How frequently do prices change? Evidence based on the micro data underlying the Belgian CPI," Working Paper Series 331, European Central Bank.
    10. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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    More about this item


    nominal rigidity; price-setting behaviour; price rigidity; pricing-to-market; real rigidity; state-dependent pricing; survey; timedependent pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms


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