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

Listed author(s):
  • Luc Aucremanne

    ()

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

  • Emmanuel Dhyne

    ()

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

Registered author(s):

    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
    Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200404-1
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    1. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing and the General Equilibrium Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690.
    2. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multiproduct Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1175-1196, December.
    3. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mónica Dias & Daniel Dias & Pedro Duarte Neves, 2004. "Stylised Features of Price Setting Behaviour in Portugal: 1992-2001," Working Papers w200405, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    5. Dias, Mónica & Dias, Daniel & Neves, Pedro D., 2004. "Stylised features of price setting behaviour in Portugal: 1992-2001," Working Paper Series 332, European Central Bank.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, J. David, 2001. "European inflation dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1237-1270.
    9. Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "Sticky prices, marginal cost, and the behavior of inflation," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 29-48.
    10. Aucremanne, L., 2000. "The Use of Robust Estimators as Measures of Core Inflation," Papers 2, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    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. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-658, September.
    15. Fisher, Timothy C. G. & Konieczny, Jerzy D., 2000. "Synchronization of price changes by multiproduct firms: evidence from Canadian newspaper prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 271-277, September.
    16. Mónica Dias & Daniel Dias & Pedro Duarte Neves, 2004. "Stylised Features of Price Setting Behaviour in Portugal: 1992-2001," Working Papers w200405, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    17. Aoki, Kosuke, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy responses to relative-price changes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 55-80, August.
    18. Antti Suvanto & Juhana Hukkinen, 2005. "Stable price level and changing prices," Macroeconomics 0508034, EconWPA.
    19. Luc Aucremanne, 2000. "The use of robust estimators as measures of core inflation," Working Paper Research 02, National Bank of Belgium.
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