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Preferences for fair prices, cursed inferences, and the nonneutrality of money

Listed author(s):
  • Erik Eyster
  • Kristóf Madarász
  • Pascal Michaillat

This paper explains the nonneutrality of money from two assumptions: (1) consumers dislike paying prices that exceed some fair markup on firms’ marginal costs; and (2) consumers under infer marginal costs from available information. After an increase in money supply, consumers underappreciate the increase in nominal marginal costs and hence partially misattribute higher prices to higher markups; they perceive transactions as less fair, which increases the price elasticity of their demand for goods; firms respond by reducing markups; in equilibrium, output increases. By raising perceived markups, increased money supply inflicts a psychological cost on consumers that can offset the benefit of increased output.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/60845/
File Function: Open access version.
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 60845.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:60845
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  1. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
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  7. Gali Jordi, 1994. "Monopolistic Competition, Business Cycles, and the Composition of Aggregate Demand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 73-96, June.
  8. Mark Bils, 1989. "Pricing in a Customer Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 699-718.
  9. 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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  11. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Measures of per Capita Hours and Their Implications for the Technology-Hours Debate," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1071-1097, 09.
  12. Luis J. Álvarez & Ignacio Hernando, 2005. "The price setting behaviour of Spanish firms: evidence from survey data," Working Papers 0537, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  13. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2013. "The Cyclical Behavior of the Price-Cost Markup," NBER Working Papers 19099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Alan Kackmeister, 2007. "Yesterday's Bad Times Are Today's Good Old Times: Retail Price Changes Are More Frequent Today Than in the 1890s," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1987-2020, December.
  15. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 517-531.
  16. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
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