IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Asymmetric Price Adjustment in the Small

Listed author(s):
  • Daniel Levy
  • Sourav Ray
  • Haipeng (Allan) Chen
  • Mark Bergen

Analyzing a large weekly retail transaction price dataset, we uncover a surprising regularity small price increases occur more frequently than small price decreases for price changes of up to about 10 cents, while there is no such asymmetry for larger price changes. The asymmetry holds for the entire sample and for individual categories. We find that while inflation can explain some of the asymmetry, inflation is not the whole story as the asymmetry holds even after excluding inflationary periods from the data, and even for products whose price had not increased over the eight-year period. The findings hold for different measures of inflation and also after allowing for lagged price adjustments. We offer a consumer-based explanation for these findings.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://economics.emory.edu/home/assets/workingpapers/levy_07_03_paper.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0703.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0703
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://economics.emory.edu/home/journals/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-538.
  2. Gordon, Robert J, 1990. "What Is New-Keynesian Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 1115-1171, September.
  3. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2008. "Behavioral Aspects of Price Setting, and Their Policy Implications," NBER Working Papers 13754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daniel Levy & Dongwon Lee & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Robert J. Kauffman & Mark Bergen, 2011. "Price Points and Price Rigidity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1417-1431, November.
  5. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
  6. Baudry, L. & Le Bihan, H. & Sevestre, P. & Tarrieu, S., 2004. "Price Rigidity. Evidence from the French CPI Macro-Data," Working papers 113, Banque de France.
  7. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multiproduct Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1175-1196, December.
  8. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
  9. Ronald W. Ward, 1982. "Asymmetry in Retail, Wholesale, and Shipping Point Pricing for Fresh Vegetables," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 64(2), pages 205-212.
  10. Ball, Laurence & Gregory Mankiw, N. & Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Monetary policy for inattentive economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 703-725, May.
  11. Milton S. Boyd & B. Wade Brorsen, 1988. "Price Asymmetry in the U.S. Pork Marketing Channel," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 10(1), pages 103-109.
  12. Robert B. Barsky & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2003. "What Can the Price Gap between Branded and Private-Label Products Tell Us about Markups?," NBER Chapters,in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 165-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Leif Danziger, 1999. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 878-901, September.
  14. Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy & Sourav Ray & Paul H. Rubin & Benjamin Zeliger, 2008. "When Little Things Mean a Lot: On the Inefficiency of Item-Pricing Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 209-250, 05.
  15. Fisher, Timothy C. G. & Konieczny, Jerzy D., 2006. "Inflation and Costly Price Adjustment: A Study of Canadian Newspaper Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 615-633, April.
  16. Gupta, Sunil & Cooper, Lee G, 1992. " The Discounting of Discounts and Promotion Thresholds," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 401-411, December.
  17. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 1997. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U. S. Supermarket Chains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 791-824.
  18. Sourav Ray & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Mark E. Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2006. "Asymmetric Wholesale Pricing: Theory and Evidence," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(2), pages 131-154, 03-04.
  19. Gadi Fibich & Arieh Gavious & Oded Lowengart, 2007. "Optimal price promotion in the presence of asymmetric reference-price effects," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(6), pages 569-577.
  20. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1992. "Staggered and Synchronized Price Policies Under Inflation: The Multiproduct Monopoly Case," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 331-359.
  21. 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 349-389, April.
  22. Robert B. Barsky & Christopher L. House & Miles S. Kimball, 2007. "Sticky-Price Models and Durable Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 984-998, June.
  23. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1994. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 247-261, March.
  24. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 2003. " Inflation and the Informativeness of Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(2), pages 177-196, April.
  25. Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Robert Venable, 1998. "Price adjustment at multiproduct retailers," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 81-120.
  26. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  27. Levy, Daniel & Young, Andrew, 2004. "The Real Thing: Nominal Price Rigidity of the Nickel Coke, 1886–1959," MPRA Paper 1046, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. Konieczny, Jerzy D. & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2005. "Inflation and price setting in a natural experiment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 621-632, April.
  29. David Neumark & Steven A. Sharpe, 1992. "Market Structure and the Nature of Price Rigidity: Evidence from the Market for Consumer Deposits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 657-680.
  30. Klenow, Peter J. & Willis, Jonathan L., 2007. "Sticky information and sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 79-99, September.
  31. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2008. "Reference Prices and Nominal Rigidities," NBER Working Papers 13829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Sam Peltzman, 2000. "Prices Rise Faster than They Fall," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 466-502, June.
  33. Levy, Daniel & Dutta, Shantanu & Bergen, Mark, 2002. "Heterogeneity in Price Rigidity: Evidence from a Case Study Using Microlevel Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 197-220, February.
  34. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
  35. Elizabeth J. Warner & Robert B. Barsky, 1995. "The Timing and Magnitude of Retail Store Markdowns: Evidence from Weekends and Holidays," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 321-352.
  36. 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.
  37. Leif Danziger, 2001. "Output and Welfare Effects of Inflation with Costly Price and Quantity Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1608-1620, December.
  38. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
  39. Dutta, Shantanu & Bergen, Mark & Levy, Daniel, 2002. "Price flexibility in channels of distribution: Evidence from scanner data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 1845-1900, September.
  40. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2006. "The Anatomy of a Price Cut: Discovering Organizational Sources of the Costs of Price Adjustment," Working Papers 2006-3, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  41. Shugan, Steven M, 1980. " The Cost of Thinking," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 99-111, Se.
  42. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
  43. Adam, Klaus, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy with imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-301, March.
  44. Basu, Susanto, 1995. "Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 512-531, June.
  45. Tobin, James, 1982. "Money and Finance in the Macroeconomic Process," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(2), pages 171-204, May.
  46. Kalyanaram, Gurumurthy & Little, John D C, 1994. " An Empirical Analysis of Latitude of Price Acceptance in Consumer Package Goods," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 408-418, December.
  47. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 161-193.
  48. Anil K Kashyap, 1995. "Sticky Prices: New Evidence from Retail Catalogs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 245-274.
  49. Hannan, Timothy H & Berger, Allen N, 1991. "The Rigidity of Prices: Evidence from the Banking Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 938-945, September.
  50. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
  51. Frank, Murray & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1998. "Why do stock prices drop by less than the value of the dividend? Evidence from a country without taxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 161-188, February.
  52. Besley, Timothy J. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1999. "Sales Taxes and Prices: An Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 157-178, June.
  53. Oliver Jean Blanchard, 1987. "Aggregate and Individual Price Adjustment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(1), pages 57-122.
  54. Coenen, Gunter & Levin, Andrew T. & Christoffel, Kai, 2007. "Identifying the influences of nominal and real rigidities in aggregate price-setting behavior," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2439-2466, November.
  55. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  56. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-658, September.
  57. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 514-533, May.
  58. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  59. Daniel Tsiddon, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902.
  60. Georg Müller & Sourav Ray, 2007. "Asymmetric price adjustment: evidence from weekly product-level scanner price data," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 723-736.
  61. Daniel H. Pick & Jeffrey Karrenbrock & Hoy F. Carman, 1990. "Price asymmetry and marketing margin behavior: An example for California-Arizona citrus," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(1), pages 75-84.
  62. Davis, Michael C & Hamilton, James D, 2004. "Why Are Prices Sticky? The Dynamics of Wholesale Gasoline Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 17-37, February.
  63. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap & Peter E. Rossi, 2003. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 15-37, March.
  64. Edward S. Knotek Ii, 2010. "A Tale of Two Rigidities: Sticky Prices in a Sticky‐Information Environment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(8), pages 1543-1564, December.
  65. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  66. Saul Lach & Daniel Tsiddon, 2007. "Small price changes and menu costs," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 649-656.
  67. Julio Rotemberg, 1987. "The New Keynesian Microfoundations," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 69-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  68. Jeffrey D. Karrenbrock, 1991. "The behavior of retail gasoline prices: symmetric or not?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 19-29.
  69. 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.
  70. Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Akshay R. Rao, 2002. "Close Encounters of Two Kinds: False Alarms and Dashed Hopes," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(2), pages 178-196, August.
  71. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 517-531.
  72. Dutta, Shantanu, et al, 1999. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 683-703, November.
  73. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2002. "Customer Anger at Price Increases, Time Variation in the Frequency of Price Changes and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 9320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0703. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sue Mialon)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.