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Price Stickiness in Ss Models: New Interpretations of Old Results

  • Ricardo J. Caballero

    ()

    (MIT and NBER)

  • Eduardo M.R.A. Engel

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Yale University)

What is the relation between infrequent price adjustment and the dynamic response of the aggregate price level to monetary' shocks? The answer to this question ranges from a one-to-one link (Calvo, 1983) to no connection whatsoever (Caplin and Spulber, 1987). The purpose of this paper is to provide a unified framework to understand the mechanisms behind this wide range of results. In doing so, we propose new interpretations of key results in this area, which in turn suggest the kind of Ss model that is likely to generate substantial price rigidity. The first result we revisit is Caplin and Spulber's monetary neutrality model. We show that when price stickiness is measured in terms of the impulse response function, this result is not a consequence of aggregation, but is due instead to the absence of price-stickiness at the microeconomic level. We also show that the “selection effect,” according to which units that adjust their prices are those that benefit the most, is neither necessary nor sufficient to account for the higher aggregate flexibility of Ss-type models compared to Calvo models. Instead, the key concept is the contribution of the extensive margin of adjustment to the aggregate price response. The aggregate price level is more flexible than suggested by the microeconomic frequency of adjustment if and only if this term is positive.

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File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp952.pdf
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Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 952.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:952
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  1. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Working Papers 05-4, Bank of Canada.
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  3. Ruediger Bachmann & Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel, 2008. "Aggregate Implications of Lumpy Investment: New Evidence and a DSGE Model," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1566R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 2010.
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  9. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-83, May.
  10. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bar-Ilan, Avner & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "Consumer Durables: Evidence on the Optimality of Usually Doing Nothing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(2), pages 258-72, May.
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  14. Caballero, R. & Engel, E.M.R.A., 1991. "Heterogeneity and Output Fluctuations in a Dynamic Menu-Cost Economy," Discussion Papers 1991_16, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  15. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1987. "Real Rigidities and the Non-Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. A. Meltzer & Peter Ordeshook & Thomas Romer, 1982. "Introduction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 1-3, January.
  18. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
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  26. Caballero, R.J. & Engel, E.M.R.A., 1990. "Dynamic (S,S) Economies," Discussion Papers 1990_44, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  27. Ariel Burstein & Christian Hellwig, 2007. "Prices and Market Shares in a Menu Cost Model," NBER Working Papers 13455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Carlos Carvalho, 2005. "Heterogeneity in Price Setting and the Real Effects of Monetary Shocks," Macroeconomics 0509017, EconWPA, revised 12 Sep 2005.
  29. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King, 2005. "Implications of state-dependent pricing for dynamic macroeconomic models," Working Papers 05-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  30. Fabiani, Silvia & Druant, Martine & Hernando, Ignacio & Kwapil, Claudia & Landau, Bettina & Loupias, Claire & Martins, Fernando & Matha, Thomas & Sabbatini, Roberto & Stahl, Harald & Stokman, Ad, 2006. "What Firms' Surveys Tell Us about Price-Setting Behavior in the Euro Area," MPRA Paper 808, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  31. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
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