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Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations


  • Ball, L.
  • Mankiw, N.G.


This paper considers a possible explanation for asymmetric adjustment of nominal prices. We present a menu-cost model in which positive trend inflation causes firms' relative prices to decline automatically between price adjustments. In this environment, shocks that raise firms' desired prices trigger larger price responses than shocks that lower desired prices. We use this model of asymmetric adjustment to address three issues in macroeconomics: the effects of aggregate demand, the effects of sectoral shocks, and the optimal rate of inflation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Ball, L. & Mankiw, N.G., 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1602, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1602

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sichel, Daniel E, 1993. "Business Cycle Asymmetry: A Deeper Look," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 224-236, April.
    2. Kimball, Miles S., 1989. "The effect of demand uncertainty on a precommitted monopoly price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-5.
    3. repec:fth:harver:1418 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1989. "The Equilibrium and Optimal Timing of Price Changes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 179-198.
    5. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, "undated". "How Does Macroeconomic Policy Matter?," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _130, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
    6. James Peery Cover, 1992. "Asymmetric Effects of Positive and Negative Money-Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1261-1282.
    7. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer, 1988. "The New Keynsesian Economics and the Output-Inflation Trade-off," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 1-82.
    8. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "How Does Macroeconomic Policy Affect Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 433-494.
    9. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Stanley Fischer, 1981. "Relative Shocks, Relative Price Variability, and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(2), pages 381-442.
    12. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    13. Tsiddon, Daniel, 1991. "On the Stubbornness of Sticky Prices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(1), pages 69-75, February.
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    prices ; economic models ; inflation;


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