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Why Don't Prices Fall in a Recession? Financial Constraints, Investment, and Customer Relations

Author

Listed:
  • Bucht, Charlotte

    (Ministry of Finance)

  • Gottfries, Nils

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Lundin, Magnus

    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

We construct a model of a financially constrained firm making pricing and investment decisions. The firm operates in a market where customers respond slowly to price changes and there are implementation lags in investment (time to build). Our model implies that the markup over marginal cost is counter-cyclical, the product price responds slowly to demand shocks, and quickly to cost shocks, and the price is strongly related to investment. Estimating the decision rules on aggregate data for Swedish industry, we find that the qualitative results are in line with our model.

Suggested Citation

  • Bucht, Charlotte & Gottfries, Nils & Lundin, Magnus, 2002. "Why Don't Prices Fall in a Recession? Financial Constraints, Investment, and Customer Relations," Working Paper Series 2002:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2002_003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Klemperer, 1995. "Competition when Consumers have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 515-539.
    2. Bhaskar, V & Machin, Stephen & Reid, Gavin C, 1993. "Price and Quantity Adjustment over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Survey Data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(2), pages 257-268, April.
    3. Mikael Carlsson, 2003. "Measures of Technology and the Short-run Response to Technology Shocks," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 555-579, December.
    4. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    5. Basu, Susanto, 2000. "Understanding how price responds to costs and production: A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 79-85, June.
    6. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1998. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 193-225, March.
    7. Chevalier, Judith A & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Countercyclical Markups: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 703-725, September.
    8. Pierre Danthine, Jean & Donaldson, John B., 1993. "Methodological and empirical issues in real business cycle theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-35, January.
    9. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Paul Klemperer, 1987. "Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 375-394.
    11. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-283, April.
    12. Bils, Mark, 1987. "The Cyclical Behavior of Marginal Cost and Price," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 838-855, December.
    13. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Woodford, Michael, 1999. "The cyclical behavior of prices and costs," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1051-1135 Elsevier.
    14. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Woodford, Michael, 1999. "The cyclical behavior of prices and costs," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1051-1135 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lindblad, Hans & Sellin, Peter, 2003. "The Equilibrium Rate of Unemployment and the Real Exchange Rate: An Unobserved Components System Approach," Working Paper Series 152, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    2. Lundin, Magnus & Gottfries, Nils & Lindström, Tomas, 2004. "Price and Investment Dynamics: An Empirical Analysis of Plant Level Data," Working Paper Series 2004:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    customer market; price rigidity; price equation; investment equation;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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