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Capacity utilisation, constraints and price adjustments under the microscope


  • Sarah Lein
  • Eva Koeberl


This paper analyses the interplay of capacity utilisation, capacity constraints, demand constraints and price adjustments, employing a unique firm-level data set for Swiss manufacturing firms. Theoretically, capacity constraints limit the ability of firms to expand production in the short run and lead to increases in prices. Our results show that, on the one hand, price increases are more likely during periods when firms are faced with capacity constraints. Constraints due to the shortage of labour, in particular, lead to price increases. On the other hand, we also find evidence that firms are not reluctant to reduce prices in response to demand constraints. At the macro level, the implied capacity-utilisation Phillips curve has a convex shape during periods of excess demand and a concave shape during periods of excess supply. Our results are robust to the inclusion of proxies for changes in costs and the competitive position of firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Lein & Eva Koeberl, 2009. "Capacity utilisation, constraints and price adjustments under the microscope," KOF Working papers 09-239, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:09-239

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eva Koeberl, 2009. "Die Inflationsneutrale Kapazitätsauslastung und die Phillips-Kurve in der Schweiz – Eine Analyse mit Mikrodaten," KOF Analysen, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, vol. 3(1), pages 67-78, March.
    2. Eva M. Köberl, 2011. "Kapazitätsauslastung, Produktionshemmnisse und Preisanpassungen unter dem Mikroskop," KOF Analysen, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, vol. 5(4), pages 43-54, December.
    3. Heiner Mikosch, 2012. "Sticky Prices, Competition and the Phillips Curve," KOF Working papers 11-294, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    4. Heiner Mikosch, 2013. "Der Zusammenhang zwischen Preisen, Kapazitätsauslastung und Wettbewerb," KOF Analysen, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, vol. 7(1), pages 91-103, March.
    5. Andrea Lassmann, 2013. "Exchange Rate Transmission and Export Activity at the Firm Level," KOF Working papers 13-331, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

    More about this item


    Price setting; Capacity utilisation; Capacity constraints; Demand constrains; Non-linear Phillips curve; Switzerland;

    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
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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