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Rational inattention, inflation developments and perceptions after the euro cash changeover

Listed author(s):
  • Ehrmann, Michael

This paper uses the euro cash changeover to test theories of finite informationprocessing capacities on the side of consumers. It argues that the denomination of prices in a new currency has increased the information-processing requirements for consumers by more than for sellers, a wedge that can lead to price increases. The size of the wedge should depend on the complexity of the currency conversion rates. In line with this theory, the paper finds that the evolution of prices for food products around the cash changeover varied across countries, depending on the complexity of conversion rates. These changeover effects are found in particular for goods with prices below one euro sold in mid-priced stores. The paper also finds that cross-country differences in the mismatch of perceived and actual inflation in the aftermath of the cash changeover are linked to differences in the complexity of conversion rates. JEL Classification: D84, E31, E58, L11

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0588.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20060588
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  1. S. Fabiani & M. Druant & I. Hernando & C. Kwapil & B. Landau & C. Loupias & F. Martins & T. Mathä & R. Sabbatini & H. Stahl & A. Stokman, 2005. "The pricing behaviour of firms in the euro area : new survey evidence," Working Paper Research 76, National Bank of Belgium.
  2. Silvia Fabiani & Martine Druant & Ignacio Hernando & Claudia Kwapil & Bettina Landau & Claire Loupias & Fernando Martins & Thomas Mathä & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Ad Stokman, 2006. "What Firms' Surveys Tell Us about Price-Setting Behavior in the Euro Area," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(3), September.
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  9. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," NBER Working Papers 11820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bart Hobijn & Andrea Tanbalotti & Federico Ravenna, 2005. "Menu Costs at Work: Restaurant Prices and the Introduction of the Euro," 2005 Meeting Papers 659, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Gaiotti, Eugenio & Lippi, Francesco, 2005. "Pricing Behaviour and the Introduction of the Euro: Evidence from a Panel of Restaurants," CEPR Discussion Papers 4893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Daniel Levy & Hainpeng (Allan) Chen & Sourav RayAuthor-Name: Mark Bergen, 2004. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment in the Small: An Implication of Rational Inattention," Emory Economics 0408, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  13. Kooreman, Peter & Faber, Riemer P & Hofmans, Heleen M J, 2004. "Charity Donations and the Euro Introduction: Some Quasi-Experimental Evidence on Money Illusion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1121-1124, December.
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  16. repec:pri:cepsud:101mastrobuoni is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Daniel Levy & Dongwon Lee & Haipeng Chen & Robert Kauffman & Mark Bergen, 2008. "Price Points and Price Rigidity," Emory Economics 0809, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  18. C.K. Folkertsma & C. van Renselaar & A.C.J. Stokman, 2002. "Smooth Euro Changeover, Higher Prices? Results of a Survey Among Dutch Retailers," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 682, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  19. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," NBER Working Papers 10883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Carlos Coimbra & Daniel Santos & Rui Evangelista & Teresa Nascimento, 2002. "Analysis on the Impact of the Conversion of Escudos into Euros," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  21. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2005. "Customer anger at price increases, changes in the frequency of price adjustment and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 829-852, May.
  22. Aucremanne, L. & Cornille, D., 2001. "Attractive Prices and Euro-Rounding Effects on Inflation," Papers 17, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
  23. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 514-533, May.
  24. Giancarlo Marini & Fabrizio Adriani & Pasquale Scaramozzino, 2003. "The Inflationary Consequences of a Currency Changeover: Evidence from the Michelin Red Guide," CEIS Research Paper 27, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  25. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  26. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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