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Price setting with menu cost for multi-product firms

  • Fernando Alvarez

    (University of Chicago)

  • Francesco Lippi

    (University of Sassari and EIEF)

We model the decisions of a multi-product firm that faces a fixed “menu” cost; once it is paid, the firm can adjust the price of all its products. We characterize analytically the steady state firm’s decisions in terms of the structural parameters: the variability of the flexible prices, the curvature of the profit function, the size of the menu cost, and the number of products sold. We provide expressions for the steady state frequency of adjustment, the hazard rate of price adjustments, and the size distribution of price changes, all in terms of the structural parameters. We study analytically the impulse response of aggregate prices and output to a monetary shock. The size of the output response and its duration increase with the number of products, they more than double as the number of products goes from 1 to ten, quickly converging to the ones of Taylor’s staggered price model.

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Paper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 1302.

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Length: 78 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1302
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  1. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips Curve with an Ss Foundation," NBER Working Papers 11971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cavallo, Alberto & Rigobon, Roberto, 2011. "The Distribution of the Size of Price Changes," Working Papers 2011-011, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  3. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  4. Fernando E. Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2010. "Optimal price setting with observation and menu costs," NBER Working Papers 15852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Etienne Gagnon, 2009. "Price Setting During Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1221-1263, August.
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  7. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-89, April.
  8. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo & Josephine Smith, 2014. "How Frequent Are Small Price Changes?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 137-55, April.
  9. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  10. Leif Danziger, 1998. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustment," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 83, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  11. Raphael S. Schoenle & Saroj Bhattarai, 2011. "Multiproduct Firms and Price-Setting: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Producer Prices," 2011 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2009. "Price adjustments and inflation - evidence from Norwegian consumer price data 1975-2004," Working Paper 2009/11, Norges Bank.
  13. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2013. "Monetary Shocks with Observation and menu Costs," EIEF Working Papers Series 1310, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised May 2013.
  14. Ernesto Pasten, 2012. "Rational Inattention, Multi-Product Firms and the Neutrality of Money," 2012 Meeting Papers 346, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Emmanuel Dhyne & Jerzy Konieczny, 2007. "Temporal Distribution of Price Changes : Staggering in the Large and Synchronization in the Small," Working Paper Research 116, National Bank of Belgium.
  16. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "Analytical Approximations in Models of Hysteresis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 141-51, January.
  17. Pinelopi Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2009. "How Rigid Are Producer Prices?," Working Papers 1184, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  18. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
  19. Laurent Baudry & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Sevestre & Sylvie Tarrieu, 2007. "What do Thirteen Million Price Records have to Say about Consumer Price Rigidity?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(2), pages 139-183, 04.
  20. Baccarin, Stefano, 2009. "Optimal impulse control for a multidimensional cash management system with generalized cost functions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 196(1), pages 198-206, July.
  21. Neiman, Brent, 2010. "Stickiness, synchronization, and passthrough in intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 295-308, April.
  22. Marco Bonomo & Carlos Carvalho, 2004. "Endogenous Time-Dependent Rules and Inflation Inertia," Macroeconomics 0402005, EconWPA, revised 19 May 2005.
  23. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy & Robert Venable, 2005. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Macroeconomics 0505007, EconWPA.
  24. Barro, Robert J, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26, January.
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