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

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  • Ehrmann, Michael

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Ehrmann, Michael, 2006. "Rational inattention, inflation developments and perceptions after the euro cash changeover," Working Paper Series 588, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2006588
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jaanika Meriküll & Tairi Rõõm, 2015. "One Currency, One Price? Euro Changeover-Related Inflation in Estonia," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 822-839, July.
    2. Parsley, David & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2008. "In search of a euro effect: Big lessons from a Big Mac Meal?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 260-276, March.
    3. Sarah M. Lein & Thomas Maag, 2011. "The Formation Of Inflation Perceptions: Some Empirical Facts For European Countries," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 58(2), pages 155-188, May.
    4. Golden, Brian & Monks, Allen, 2009. "Measuring Inflation Expectations in the Euro Area," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 67-84, January.
    5. Vitale, Paolo, 2006. "A Market Microstructure Analysis of Foreign Exchange Intervention," CEPR Discussion Papers 5468, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Robalo Marques, Carlos & Dias, Daniel & Santos Silva, João M. C., 2006. "Measuring the importance of the uniform nonsynchronization hypothesis," Working Paper Series 606, European Central Bank.
    7. Lunn, Pete & Duffy, David, 2010. "The Euro Through the Looking-Glass: Perceived Inflation Following the 2002 Currency Changeover," Papers WP338, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    8. Amelie Gamble, 2007. "The “Euro Illusion”: Illusion or Fact?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 323-336, December.
    9. Theodore Pelagidis & Taun Toay, 2007. "Expensive Living: The Greek Experience under the Euro," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 42(3), pages 167-176, May.
    10. Tairi Room & Katri Urke, 2014. "The Euro Changeover in Estonia: implications for inflation," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2014-6, Bank of Estonia, revised 10 Oct 2014.
    11. Isabell Koske, 2011. "Price effects of the euro cash changeover: the role of product market competition," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 223-230, May.
    12. Michael J. Lamla & Sarah Lein, 2010. "The Euro Cash Changeover, Inflation Perceptions and the Media," KOF Working papers 10-254, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    13. Thomas A. Eife & W. Timothy Coombs, 2006. "Coping with People’s Inflation Perceptions During a Currency Changeover," Working Papers 0435, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2006.
    14. Mestre, Ricardo, 2007. "Are survey-based inflation expections in the euro area informative?," Working Paper Series 721, European Central Bank.
    15. Peter, Eckley, 2015. "(Non)rationality of consumer inflation perceptions," MPRA Paper 77082, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Stix, Helmut, 2009. "Perceived inflation and the euro: Evidence from an Austrian survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 547-561, December.
    17. Thomas A. Eife, 2006. "Price setting behaviour and price setting regulations at the euro changeover," Bank of Estonia Working Papers 2006-06, Bank of Estonia, revised 12 Oct 2006.
    18. Paolo Del Giovane & Roberto Sabbatini, 2006. "Perceived and Measured Inflation after the Launch of the Euro: Explaining the Gap in Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 65(2), pages 155-192, November.
    19. Jaanika Merikull & Tairi Room, 2014. "One currency, one price? Euro Changeover related inflation in Estonia," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2014-7, Bank of Estonia, revised 10 Oct 2014.
    20. Lena Dräger & Jan-Oliver Menz & Ulrich Fritsche, 2014. "Perceived inflation under loss aversion," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 282-293, January.
    21. Thomas Maag, 2009. "On the accuracy of the probability method for quantifying beliefs about inflation," KOF Working papers 09-230, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    22. Vincenzo Cestari & Paolo Del Giovane & Clelia Rossi-Arnaud, 2007. "Memory for prices and the euro cash changeover: An analysis for cinema prices in Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 619, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    23. Felix Hüfner & Isabell Koske, 2008. "The Euro Changeover in the Slovak Republic: Implications for Inflation and Interest Rates," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 632, OECD Publishing.
    24. D. Cornille & T. Stragier, 2007. "The euro, five years later : what has happened to prices ?," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue ii, pages 7-27, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    euro cash changeover; perceived inflation; rational inattention;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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