IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Yesterday's bad times are today's good old times: retail price changes in the 1890s were smaller, less frequent, and more permanent

  • Alan Kackmeister

This paper compares nominal price rigidity in retail stores during two 28-month periods: 1889-1891 and 1997-1999. The 1889-1891 microdata price quotes show: 1. a lower frequency of price changes; 2. a smaller average magnitude of price changes; 3. fewer "small" price changes; and, 4. fewer temporary price reductions. These differences are consistent with the 1889-1891 period having a higher cost of changing prices resulting in less adjustment to transitory price shocks. Changes in the retailing environment that may have led to a higher cost of changing prices in 1889-1891 are discussed.

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:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2005-18.

in new window

Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2005-18
Contact details of provider: Postal:
20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

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. 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.
  2. Thompson, Gary D. & Wilson, Paul N., 1999. "Market Demands For Bagged, Refrigerated Salads," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(02), December.
  3. Harold Barger, 1955. "Distribution's Place in the American Economy Since 1869," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barg55-1, September.
  4. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "A Sticky-Price Manifesto," NBER Working Papers 4677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pashigian, B Peter, 1988. "Demand Uncertainty and Sales: A Study of Fashion and Markdown Pricin g," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 936-53, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Stigler, George J & Kindahl, James K, 1973. "Industrial Prices, as Administered by Dr. Means," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(4), pages 717-21, September.
  10. Buckle, Robert A. & Carlson, John A., 2000. "Menu costs, firm size and price rigidity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 59-63, January.
  11. Lal, Rajiv & Matutes, Carmen, 1994. "Retail Pricing and Advertising Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(3), pages 345-70, July.
  12. John B. Taylor, 1998. "Staggered Price and Wage Setting in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 6754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Goodwin, Barry K. & Grennes, Thomas J. & Craig, Lee A., 2002. "Mechanical Refrigeration and the Integration of Perishable Commodity Markets," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 154-182, April.
  14. Koelln, K. & Rush, M., 1990. "Rigid Prices And Flexible Products," Papers 90-1, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  15. Mark Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2003. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," Working Papers 2003-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
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:fip:fedgfe:2005-18. 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: (Marlene Vikor)

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.