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How rigid are producer prices?

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  • Pinelopi K. Goldberg
  • Rebecca Hellerstein

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that producer prices are more rigid than consumer prices and therefore play less of a role in the allocation of goods and services. Analyzing 1987-2008 microdata collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the producer price index, we find that producer prices for finished goods and services in fact exhibit roughly the same rigidity as consumer prices that include sales and substantially less rigidity than consumer prices that exclude them. Moreover, large firms change prices two to three times more frequently than small firms do, and by smaller amounts, particularly in the case of price decreases. Longer price durations are associated with larger price changes, although there is considerable heterogeneity in this relationship. Long-term contracts are associated with somewhat greater price rigidity for goods and services, although the differences are not dramatic. The size of price decreases plays a key role in inflation dynamics, while the size of price increases does not. The frequencies of price increases and decreases tend to move together and so cancel one another out.

Suggested Citation

  • Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2009. "How rigid are producer prices?," Staff Reports 407, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:407
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Even producer prices are flexible
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-02-01 21:17:00

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    1. Jörn Kleinert & Julien Martin & Farid Toubal, 2015. "The Few Leading the Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 134-159, October.
    2. Natalia Fabra & Mar Reguant, 2014. "Pass-Through of Emissions Costs in Electricity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2872-2899, September.
    3. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi, 2014. "Price Setting With Menu Cost for Multiproduct Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 89-135, January.
    4. Hellerstein, Rebecca & Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2010. "Outsourcing and pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 170-183, July.
    5. Simon Gilchrist & Raphael Schoenle & Jae Sim & Egon Zakrajšek, 2017. "Inflation Dynamics during the Financial Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 785-823, March.
    6. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Grajales, Anderson & Uras, Rasim Burak, 2015. "Heterogeneity in Wage Setting Behavior in a New-Keynesian Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 10532, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Bhattarai, Saroj & Schoenle, Raphael, 2014. "Multiproduct firms and price-setting: Theory and evidence from U.S. producer prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 178-192.
    8. Klenow, Peter J. & Malin, Benjamin A., 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 6, pages 231-284 Elsevier.
    9. repec:taf:nzecpp:v:51:y:2017:i:3:p:217-236 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Cao, Shutao & Dong, Wei & Tomlin, Ben, 2015. "Pricing-to-market, currency invoicing and exchange rate pass-through to producer prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 128-149.
    11. Miles Parker, 2017. "Price-setting behaviour in New Zealand," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(3), pages 217-236, September.
    12. Shruti Tripathi & Ashima Goyal, 2011. "Relative prices, the price level and inflation: Effects of asymmetric and sticky adjustment," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2011-026, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price indexes ; Consumer price indexes ; Inflation (Finance) ; Prices;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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