IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Optimal price setting with observation and menu costs

  • Fernando E. Alvarez
  • Francesco Lippi
  • Luigi Paciello

We model the optimal price setting problem of a firm in the presence of both information and menu costs. In this problem the firm optimally decides when to collect costly information on the adequacy of its price, an activity which we refer to as a price "review". Upon each review, the firm chooses whether to adjust its price, subject to a menu cost, and when to conduct the next price review. This behavior is consistent with recent survey evidence documenting that firms revise prices infrequently and that only a few price revisions yield a price adjustment. The goal of the paper is to study how the firm's choices map into several observable statistics, depending on the level and relative magnitude of the information vs the menu cost. The observable statistics are: the frequency of price reviews, the frequency of price adjustments, the size-distribution of price adjustments, and the shape of the hazard rate of price adjustments. We provide an analytical characterization of the firm decisions and a mapping from the structural parameters to the observable statistics. We compare these statistics with the ones obtained for the models with only one type of cost. The predictions of the model can, with suitable data, be used to quantify the importance of the menu cost vs. the information cost. We also consider a version of the model where several price adjustment are allowed between observations, a form of price plans or indexation. We find that no indexation is optimal for small inflation rates. Hard-copy subscribers may access the tables for this paper here .

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: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15852.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15852.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Fernando E. Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2011. "Optimal Price Setting With Observation and Menu Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1909-1960.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15852
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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. Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," NBER Working Papers 15826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert Lucas & Mike Golosov, 2004. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," 2004 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Luis J. Álvarez & Pablo Burriel & Ignacio Hernando, 2005. "Do decreasing hazard functions for price changes make any sense?," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0508, Banco de Espa�a.
  4. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2006. "Inertia of Forward-Looking Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 152-157, May.
  5. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," Working Papers 135, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  6. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
  7. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc & Mihov, Ilian, 2007. "Sticky Prices and Monetary Policy: Evidence from Disaggregated US Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Zauberman, Gal, 2003. " The Intertemporal Dynamics of Consumer Lock-In," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 405-19, December.
  9. repec:oup:restud:v:44:y:1977:i:2:p:287-303 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Avinash Dixit, 1991. "Analytical Approximations in Models of Hysteresis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 141-151.
  11. Mark Armstrong, 2008. "Interactions between Competition and Consumer Policy," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 4.
  12. Stokman, Ad C.J. & Hoeberichts, Marco M., 2006. "Price setting behaviour in the Netherlands: results of a survey," Working Paper Series 0607, European Central Bank.
  13. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  14. Aucremanne, Luc & Druant, Martine, 2005. "Price-setting behaviour in Belgium: what can be learned from an ad hoc survey?," Working Paper Series 0448, European Central Bank.
  15. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Álvarez & Hervé Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lünnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2005. "Price setting in the euro area: Some stylized facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Working Paper Research 74, National Bank of Belgium.
  16. Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "Endogenous information, menu costs and inflation persistence," NBER Working Papers 14184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Moench, Emanuel & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Sectoral price data and models of price setting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(S), pages S78-S99.
  19. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Moench, Emanuel & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Sectoral Price Data and Models of Price Setting," CEPR Discussion Papers 7339, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Marco Bonomo & Carlos Carvalho, 2004. "Endogenous Time-Dependent Rules and Inflation Inertia," Macroeconomics 0402005, EconWPA, revised 19 May 2005.
  21. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly & Stavros Panageas, 2007. "Optimal Inattention to the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 244-249, May.
  22. Angeletos, George-Marios & La’O, Jennifer, 2009. "Incomplete information, higher-order beliefs and price inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(S), pages S19-S37.
  23. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
  24. Luis J. Álvarez & Emmanuel Dhyne & Marco Hoeberichts & C. Kwapil & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Lünnemann & Fernando Martins & R. Sabbatini & H. Stahl & Philip Vermeulen & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Sticky Prices in The Euro Area: a Summary of New Micro Evidence," Working Papers w200605, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  25. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Fabiani, Silvia & Loupias, Claire & Martins, Fernando & Sabbatini, Roberto (ed.), 2007. "Pricing Decisions in the Euro Area: How Firms Set Prices and Why," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195309287, July.
  27. Loupias, C. & Ricart, R., 2004. "Price Setting in France: new Evidence from Survey Data," Working papers 120, Banque de France.
  28. Nimark, Kristoffer, 2008. "Dynamic pricing and imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 365-382, March.
  29. Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2004. "Limited information capacity as a source of inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2003-2035, September.
  30. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips Curve with an Ss Foundation," NBER Working Papers 11971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Fernando Alvarez & Luigi Guiso & Francesco Lippi, 2012. "Durable Consumption and Asset Management with Transaction and Observation Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2272-2300, August.
  32. Marco Bonomo & Carlos Carvalho & René Garcia, 2010. "State-dependent pricing under infrequent information: a unified framework," Staff Reports 455, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  33. Filip Matejka, 2010. "Rationally Inattentive Seller: Sales and Discrete Pricing," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp408, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  34. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1992. "Aggregation and Optimization with State-Dependent Pricing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1595, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  35. Luis J. Álvarez & Ignacio Hernando, 2005. "The price setting behaviour of Spanish firms: evidence from survey data," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0537, Banco de Espa�a.
  36. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
  37. Alberto Cavallo, 2015. "Scraped Data and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 21490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Nakajima, Daisuke & Masatlioglu, Yusufcan, 2013. "Choice by iterative search," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), September.
  39. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Pervasive Stickiness (Expanded Version)," NBER Working Papers 12024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  41. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," NBER Working Papers 11820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  43. repec:oup:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:1:p:141-51 is not listed on IDEAS
  44. Andrew S. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-725.
  45. Robert J. Barro, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26.
  46. Phelps, Edmund S, 1969. "The New Microeconomics in Inflation and Employment Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 147-60, May.
  47. Hall, Simon & Walsh, Mark & Yates, Anthony, 2000. "Are UK Companies' Prices Sticky?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 425-46, July.
  48. George-Marios Angeletos & Jennifer La'O, 2009. "Incomplete Information, Higher-Order Beliefs and Price Inertia," NBER Working Papers 15003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
  50. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  51. Burstein, Ariel T., 2006. "Inflation and output dynamics with state-dependent pricing decisions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1235-1257, October.
  52. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2008. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does it Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 863-904.
  53. Miles Parker, 2014. "Price-setting behaviour in New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2014/04, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  54. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708.
  55. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Pervasive Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 164-169, May.
  56. Duffie, Darrell & Sun, Tong-sheng, 1990. "Transactions costs and portfolio choice in a discrete-continuous-time setting," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 35-51, February.
  57. Kwapil, Claudia & Baumgartner, Josef & Scharler, Johann, 2005. "The price-setting behavior of Austrian firms: some survey evidence," Working Paper Series 0464, European Central Bank.
  58. repec:oup:restud:v:39:y:1972:i:1:p:17-26 is not listed on IDEAS
  59. Stahl, Harald, 2005. "Price setting in German manufacturing: new evidence from new survey data," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,43, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  60. Rene Garcia & Marco Bonomo, 2004. "Optimal Rules under Adjustment Cost and Infrequent Information," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 135, Econometric Society.
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:nbr:nberwo:15852. 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: ()

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.