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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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File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp588.pdf
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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. Raghubir, Priya & Srivastava, Joydeep, 2002. " Effect of Face Value on Product Valuation in Foreign Currencies," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 335-347, December.
  3. 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," Working Paper Research 74, National Bank of Belgium.
  4. 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).
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  6. Daniel Levy & Dongwon Lee & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Robert J. Kauffman & Mark Bergen, 2011. "Price Points and Price Rigidity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1417-1431, November.
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  8. Bart Hobijn & Federico Ravenna & Andrea Tambalotti, 2006. "Menu Costs at Work: Restaurant Prices and the Introduction of the Euro," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 1103-1131.
  9. 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.
  10. Cannon, Edmund & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2006. "Euro-Illusion: A Natural Experiment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1391-1403, August.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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  15. Angelini, Paolo & Lippi, Francesco, 2005. "Did Inflation Really Soar After the Euro Cash Changeover? Indirect Evidence from ATM Withdrawals," CEPR Discussion Papers 4950, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. 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.
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  19. repec:pri:cepsud:101mastrobuoni is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Adam, Klaus, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy with imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-301, March.
  21. 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.
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  23. Aucremanne, L. & Cornille, D., 2001. "Attractive Prices and Euro-Rounding Effects on Inflation," Papers 17, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
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  25. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
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