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Sales and monetary policy

  • Bernardo Guimaraes
  • Kevin D. Sheedy

A striking fact about prices is the prevalence of ``sales'': large temporary price cuts followed by a return exactly to the former price. This paper builds a macroeconomic model with a rationale for sales based on firms facing consumers with different price sensitivities. Even if firms can vary sales without cost, monetary policy has large real effects owing to sales being strategic substitutes: a firm's incentive to have a sale is decreasing in the number of other firms having sales. Thus the flexibility of prices at the micro level due to sales does not translate into flexibility at the macro level.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/25492/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 25492.

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Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:25492
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Emi Nakamura & Jon Steinsson, 2005. "Price Setting in a Forward-Looking Customer Market," Macroeconomics 0509010, EconWPA.
  2. Tack Yun & Andrew Levin, 2009. "Reconsidering the Microeconomic Foundations of Price-Setting Behavior," 2009 Meeting Papers 798, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2007. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Discussion Papers 07-007, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Kevin Sheedy & Bernardo Guimaraes, 2009. "Sales and Monetary Policy," 2009 Meeting Papers 365, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2006. "A Framework for Identifying the Sources of Local-Currency Price Stability with an Empirical Application," 2006 Meeting Papers 625, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2008. "Temporary price changes and the real effects of monetary policy," Working Papers 661, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Salop, S & Stiglitz, J E, 1982. "The Theory of Sales: A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Identical Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1121-30, December.
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