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How frequently do prices change? Evidence based on the micro data underlying the Belgian CPI

  • Luc Aucremanne

    ()

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Emmanuel Dhyne

    ()

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

This paper examines the degree of price rigidity in Belgian consumer prices, using a large database. As to the observed degree of rigidity, the results reveal a substantial amount of heterogeneity, not only across but also within product categories. While prices turn out to be perfectly flexible for some product categories, they tend to be very sticky for others. Each month, nearly 17 p.c. of the consumer prices change on average and the median duration of a price spell is close to 13 months. A substantial subset of our results is compatible with state-dependent pricing, while other results suggest that some timedependency exists as well. The majority of price changes are price increases, but price decreases are not uncommon, except for services. The size of price changes is important. Price changes do not seem to be highly synchronised across price-setters within relatively homogenous product categories.

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File URL: https://www.nbb.be/doc/oc/repec/reswpp/wp44.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 44.

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Length: 71 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200404-1
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  1. Aucremanne, L., 2000. "The Use of Robust Estimators as Measures of Core Inflation," Papers 2, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
  2. Aucremanne, L. & Cornille, D., 2001. "Attractive Prices and Euro-Rounding Effects on Inflation," Papers 17, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
  3. Aoki, Kosuke, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy responses to relative-price changes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 55-80, August.
  4. 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 349-89, April.
  5. Dennis W. Carlton, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," NBER Working Papers 1813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, J. David, 2001. "European inflation dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1237-1270.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1985. "Staggered Contracts and the Frequency of Price Adjustment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 935-959.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Laurent Baudry & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Sevestre & Sylvie Tarrieu, 2005. "La rigidité des prix en France : quelques enseignements des relevés de prix à la consommation," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 386(1), pages 37-57.
  13. Buckle, Robert A. & Carlson, John A., 2000. "Menu costs, firm size and price rigidity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 59-63, January.
  14. 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.
  15. Luc Aucremanne & Guy Brys & Peter J Rousseeuw & Anja Struyf & Mia Hubert, 2003. "Inflation, relative prices and nominal rigidities," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 81-105 Bank for International Settlements.
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