IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Asymmetric Price Adjustment in the Small

  • Daniel Levy
  • Haipeng (Allan) Chen
  • Sourav Ray
  • Mark Bergen

Analyzing a large weekly retail transaction price dataset, we uncover a surprising regularity— small price increases occur more frequently than small price decreases for price changes of up to about 10 cents, while there is no such asymmetry for larger price changes. The asymmetry holds for the entire sample and for individual categories. We find that while inflation can explain some of the asymmetry, inflation is not the whole story as the asymmetry holds even after excluding inflationary periods from the data, and even for products whose price had not increased over the eight-year period. The findings hold for different measures of inflation and also after allowing for lagged price adjustments. We offer a consumer-based explanation for these findings.

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: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/asymmetric-price-adjustment-in-the-small/kap1356.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1356.

as
in new window

Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1356
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Kiellinie 66, D-24105 Kiel

Phone: +49 431 8814-1
Fax: +49 431 85853
Web page: http://www.ifw-kiel.de
Email:


More information through EDIRC

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. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 2005. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," Macroeconomics 0505012, EconWPA.
  2. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2002. "Price Flexibility in Channels of Distribution: Evidence from Scanner Data," Working Papers 2002-10, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  3. Leif Danziger, 1999. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 878-901, September.
  4. Adam, Klaus, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/12, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  5. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  6. Fisher, Timothy C. G. & Konieczny, Jerzy D., 2006. "Inflation and Costly Price Adjustment: A Study of Canadian Newspaper Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 615-633, April.
  7. Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Akshay R. Rao, 2002. "Close Encounters of Two Kinds: False Alarms and Dashed Hopes," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(2), pages 178-196, August.
  8. Frank, Murray & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1998. "Why do stock prices drop by less than the value of the dividend? Evidence from a country without taxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 161-188, February.
  9. Besley, Timothy J. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1999. "Sales Taxes and Prices: An Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 157-78, June.
  10. Hannan, Timothy H & Berger, Allen N, 1991. "The Rigidity of Prices: Evidence from the Banking Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 938-945, September.
  11. Robert B. Barsky & Christopher L. House & Miles S. Kimball, 2007. "Sticky-Price Models and Durable Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 984-998, June.
  12. Saul Lach & Daniel Tsiddon, 2007. "Small price changes and menu costs," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 649-656.
  13. Gupta, Sunil & Cooper, Lee G, 1992. " The Discounting of Discounts and Promotion Thresholds," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 401-411, December.
  14. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  15. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
  16. Edward S. Knotek, 2006. "A tale of two rigidities: sticky prices in a sticky-information environment," Research Working Paper RWP 06-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  17. Daniel H. Pick & Jeffrey Karrenbrock & Hoy F. Carman, 1990. "Price asymmetry and marketing margin behavior: An example for California-Arizona citrus," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(1), pages 75-84.
  18. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap & Peter E. Rossi, 2003. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 15-37, March.
  19. Robert Barsky & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2001. "What Can the Price Gap between Branded and Private Label Products Tell Us about Markups?," NBER Working Papers 8426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Daniel Levy & Andrew T. Young, 2004. ""The Real Thing:" Nominal Price Rigidity of the Nickel Coke, 1886-1959," Working Papers 2004-2, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  21. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1994. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 247-61, March.
  22. 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.
  23. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," Working Papers 135, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics.
  25. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2005. "Customer anger at price increases, changes in the frequency of price adjustment and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 829-852, May.
  26. Laurence Ball & N Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," Economics Working Paper Archive 491, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  27. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2006. "The Anatomy of a Price Cut: Discovering Organizational Sources of the Costs of Price Adjustment," Working Papers 2006-3, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  28. Sourav Ray & Haipeng Chen & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2005. "Asymmetric Wholesale Pricing: Theory and Evidence," Macroeconomics 0503021, EconWPA.
  29. Levy, Daniel & Lee, Dongwon & Chen, Haipeng (Allan) & Kauffman, Robert & Bergen, Mark, 2007. "Price Points and Price Rigidity," MPRA Paper 1472, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  30. Coenen, Günter & Levin, Andrew T., 2004. "Identifying the influences of nominal and real rigidities in aggregate price-setting behavior," Working Paper Series 0418, European Central Bank.
  31. Kalyanaram, Gurumurthy & Little, John D C, 1994. " An Empirical Analysis of Latitude of Price Acceptance in Consumer Package Goods," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 408-418, December.
  32. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  33. Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy & Sourav Ray & Paul Rubin & Benjamin Zeliger, 2004. "When Little Things Mean a Lot: On the Inefficiency of Item Pricing Laws," Law and Economics 0405005, EconWPA, revised 02 Jun 2005.
  34. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun, pages -.
  35. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2002. "Customer Anger at Price Increases, Time Variation in the Frequency of Price Changes and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 9320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2002. "Heterogeneity in Price Rigidity: Evidence from a Case Study Using Micro-Level Data," Working Papers 2002-09, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  37. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
  38. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
  39. Susanto Basu, 1994. "Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 4817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  41. Sam Peltzman, 2000. "Prices Rise Faster than They Fall," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 466-502, June.
  42. Leif Danziger, 2001. "Output and Welfare Effects of Inflation with Costly Price and Quantity Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1608-1620, December.
  43. 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.
  44. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-658, September.
  45. Gordon, Robert J, 1990. "What Is New-Keynesian Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 1115-1171, September.
  46. Saul Lach & Daniel Tsiddon, 1994. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multipro-duct Firms," NBER Working Papers 4759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. Baudry, L. & Le Bihan, H. & Sevestre, P. & Tarrieu, S., 2004. "Price Rigidity. Evidence from the French CPI Macro-Data," Working papers 113, Banque de France.
  48. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1993. "Inflation and the Informativeness of Prices," NBER Working Papers 4267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Sheshinski, E. & Weiss, Y., 1990. "Staggered And Synchronized Price Policies Under Inflation: The Multiproduct Monopoly Case," Papers 35-90, Tel Aviv.
  50. Tobin, James, 1982. "Money and Finance in the Macroeconomic Process," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(2), pages 171-204, May.
  51. Julio Rotemberg, 1987. "The New Keynesian Microfoundations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 69-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  52. 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.
  53. Milton S. Boyd & B. Wade Brorsen, 1988. "Price Asymmetry in the U.S. Pork Marketing Channel," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 10(1), pages 103-109.
  54. Eichenbaum, Martin & Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2008. "Reference Prices and Nominal Rigidities," CEPR Discussion Papers 6709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  55. Shugan, Steven M, 1980. " The Cost of Thinking," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 99-111, Se.
  56. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 517-531.
  57. Gadi Fibich & Arieh Gavious & Oded Lowengart, 2007. "Optimal price promotion in the presence of asymmetric reference-price effects," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(6), pages 569-577.
  58. Georg Müller & Sourav Ray, 2007. "Asymmetric price adjustment: evidence from weekly product-level scanner price data," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 723-736.
  59. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy & Robert Venable, 2005. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Macroeconomics 0505007, EconWPA.
  60. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 514-533, May.
  61. Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Robert Venable, 1998. "Price adjustment at multiproduct retailers," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 81-120.
  62. Ronald W. Ward, 1982. "Asymmetry in Retail, Wholesale, and Shipping Point Pricing for Fresh Vegetables," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 64(2), pages 205-212.
  63. David Neumark & Steven A. Sharpe, 1989. "Market structure and the nature of price rigidity: evidence from the market for consumer deposits," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  64. Davis, Michael C & Hamilton, James D, 2004. "Why Are Prices Sticky? The Dynamics of Wholesale Gasoline Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 17-37, February.
  65. Daniel Tsiddon, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902.
  66. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
  67. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2008. "Behavioral Aspects of Price Setting, and Their Policy Implications," NBER Working Papers 13754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  68. Jeffrey D. Karrenbrock, 1991. "The behavior of retail gasoline prices: symmetric or not?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 19-29.
  69. Konieczny, Jerzy D. & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2005. "Inflation and price setting in a natural experiment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 621-632, April.
  70. 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 349-389, April.
  71. Oliver Jean Blanchard, 1987. "Aggregate and Individual Price Adjustment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(1), pages 57-122.
  72. Alan Kackmeister, 2007. "Yesterday's Bad Times Are Today's Good Old Times: Retail Price Changes Are More Frequent Today Than in the 1890s," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1987-2020, December.
  73. Klenow, Peter J. & Willis, Jonathan L., 2007. "Sticky information and sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 79-99, September.
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:kie:kieliw:1356. 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: (Dieter Stribny)

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.