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Temporal Distribution of Price Changes : Staggering in the Large and Synchronization in the Small

  • Emmanuel Dhyne

    ()

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department
    Centre de Recherche Warocqué, Université de Mons-Hainaut)

  • Jerzy Konieczny

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont., Canada)

Temporal distribution of individual price changes is of crucial importance for business cycle theory and for the micro-foundations of price adjustment. While it is routinely assumed that price changes are staggered over time, both theory and evidence are ambiguous. We use a large Belgian data set to analyze whether price changes are staggered or synchronized. We find that the more aggregate the data, the closer the distribution to perfect staggering. This result holds for both aggregation across goods and across locations. Our results provide support for Bhaskar’s (2002) model of synchronized adjustment within, and staggered adjustment across, industries.

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Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 116.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200706-02
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  1. Bhaskar, V, 2002. "On Endogenously Staggered Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 97-116, January.
  2. Josef Baumgartner & Ernst Glatzer & Fabio Rumler & Alfred Stiglbauer, 2005. "How Frequently Do Consumer Prices Change in Austria? Evidence from Micro CPI Data," Working Papers 101, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  5. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
  6. Dutta, Shantanu, et al, 1999. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 683-703, November.
  7. Anil K Kashyap, 1994. "Sticky Prices: New Evidence from Retail Catalogs," NBER Working Papers 4855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does it Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 11043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Laurence Ball & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1987. "Imperfect Information and Staggered Price Setting," NBER Working Papers 2201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  12. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "Sticky Price Models of the Business Cycle: Can the Contract Multiplier Solve the Persistence Problem?," NBER Working Papers 5809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Chakrabarti, Rajesh & Scholnick, Barry, 2005. "Nominal rigidities without literal menu costs: evidence from E-commerce," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 187-191, February.
  14. 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.
  15. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, June.
  17. 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.
  18. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
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