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Price Setting and Market Structure: An Empirical Analysis of Micro Data

Most empirical studies on price setting that use micro data focus on advanced industrial countries. In this paper we analyze the experience of an emerging economy, Slovakia, using a large micro-level dataset that accounts for a substantial part of the consumer price index (about 5 million observations). We find that market structure is an important determinant of pricing behavior. The effect of market structure on persistence of inflation results from two conflicting forces. Increased competition may reduce persistence by increasing the frequency of price changes. In contrast, higher competition may increase persistence through inertial behaviour induced by the strategic complementarity among price setters. In our case study, we find that the latter effects dominate. Indeed, the dispersion of prices is higher while persistence is lower in the non-tradable sectors, suggesting that higher competition is not conducive to lower persistence. Furthermore, we find that the frequency of price changes depends negatively on the price dispersion and positively on the product-specific inflation. These results seem consistent with predictions of Calvo’s staggered price model.

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Paper provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its series Working Papers IES with number 2008/23.

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Length: 35pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision: Sep 2008
Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2008_23
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  1. Caglayan, Mustafa & Filiztekin, Alpay & Rauh, Michael T., 2008. "Inflation, price dispersion, and market structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1187-1208, October.
  2. Mojon, Benoît & Altissimo, Filippo & Zaffaroni, Paolo, 2007. "Fast micro and slow macro: can aggregation explain the persistence of inflation?," Working Paper Series 0729, European Central Bank.
  3. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Álvarez & Hervé Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lünnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2005. "Price setting in the euro area: Some stylized facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Working Paper Research 74, National Bank of Belgium.
  4. Lünnemann, Patrick & Mathä, Thomas Y., 2005. "Regulated and services’ prices and inflation persistence," Working Paper Series 0466, European Central Bank.
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  6. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
  7. Horvath, Julius & Vidovic, Stanislav, 2004. "Price variability and the speed of adjustment to the law of one price : evidence from Slovakia," BOFIT Discussion Papers 3/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2004. "Price Dispersion In The Small And In The Large: Evidence From An Internet Price Comparison Site," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 463-496, December.
  10. Elbourne, Adam & de Haan, Jakob, 2006. "Financial structure and monetary policy transmission in transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-23, March.
  11. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2007. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 171-199.
  12. Dias, Daniel & Robalo Marques, Carlos, 2005. "Using mean reversion as a measure of persistence," Working Paper Series 0450, European Central Bank.
  13. John B. Taylor, 1998. "Staggered Price and Wage Setting in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 6754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ratfai, Attila, 2000. "Linking individual and aggregate price changes," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0035, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  15. Mario J. Crucini & Chris I. Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2001. "Understanding European Real Exchange Rates," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0120, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  16. Baumgartner, Josef & Glatzer, Ernst & Rumler, Fabio & Stiglbauer, Alfred, 2005. "How frequently do consumer prices change in Austria? Evidence from micro CPI data," Working Paper Series 0523, European Central Bank.
  17. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
  18. Luc Aucremanne & Emmanuel Dhyne, 2004. "How frequently do prices change? Evidence based on the micro data underlying the Belgian CPI," Working Paper Research 44, National Bank of Belgium.
  19. Veronese, Giovanni & Fabiani, Silvia & Gattulli, Angela & Sabbatini, Roberto, 2005. "Consumer price behaviour in Italy: evidence from micro CPI data," Working Paper Series 0449, European Central Bank.
  20. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  21. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2007. "The effects of competition on price dispersion in the airline industry: a panel analysis," Working Papers 07-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  22. Granger, C. W. J., 1980. "Long memory relationships and the aggregation of dynamic models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 227-238, October.
  23. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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.
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