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. Luis J. Álvarez & Emmanuel Dhyne & Marco Hoeberichts & Claudia Kwapil & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Lünnemann & Fernando Martins & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Philip Vermeulen & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Sticky Prices in the Euro Area: A Summary of New Micro-Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 575-584, 04-05.
  2. 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, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690, May.
  3. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc P. & Mihov, Ilian, 2006. "Sticky prices and monetary policy: Evidence from disaggregated US data," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/14, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1992. "Aggregation and Optimization with State-Dependent Pricing," Discussion Papers 1992_15, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2004. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Jul 2005.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2007. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Discussion Papers 07-007, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "Endogenous information, menu costs and inflation persistence," NBER Working Papers 14184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Nakajima, Daisuke & Masatlioglu, Yusufcan, 2013. "Choice by iterative search," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), September.
  11. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips curve with an Ss foundation," Working Papers 06-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  12. Mankiw, N Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Pervasive Stickiness (Expanded Version)," CEPR Discussion Papers 5521, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Alvarez, Fernando & Guiso, Luigi & Lippi, Francesco, 2010. "Durable consumption and asset management with transaction and observation costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 7702, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Filip Matejka, 2010. "Rationally Inattentive Seller: Sales and Discrete Pricing," 2010 Meeting Papers 420, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. 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.
  17. Loupias, Claire & Ricart, Roland, 2004. "Price setting in France: new evidence from survey data," Working Paper Series 0423, European Central Bank.
  18. 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.
  19. Marco Hoeberichts & Ad Stokman, 2005. "Price Setting Behaviour in the Netherlands: Results of a Survey," DNB Working Papers 073, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  20. 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.
  21. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
  22. 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.
  23. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Barro, Robert J, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26, January.
  25. Bonomo, Marco & Carvalho, Carlos, 2004. "Endogenous Time-Dependent Rules and Inflation Inertia," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1015-41, December.
  26. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1989. "State-Dependent Pricing And The Dynamics Of Money And Output," Discussion Papers 1989_32, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  27. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
  28. Klenow, Peter J. & Malin, Benjamin A., 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 6, pages 231-284 Elsevier.
  29. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
  30. Álvarez, L. & Dias, D. & Dhyne, E. & Hoffmann, J. & Jonker, N. & Le Bihan, H. & Lünnemann, P. & Rumler, F. & Veronese, G. & Vilmunen, J., 2005. "Price Setting in the Euro Area: Some Stylized Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Working papers 136, Banque de France.
  31. Álvarez, Luis J. & Hernando, Ignacio, 2005. "The price setting behaviour of Spanish firms: evidence from survey data," Working Paper Series 0538, European Central Bank.
  32. Miles Parker, 2014. "Price-setting behaviour in New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2014/04, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  33. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2007. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 171-199.
  34. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  35. Álvarez, Luis J. & Burriel, Pablo & Hernando, Ignacio, 2005. "Do decreasing hazard functions for price changes make any sense?," Working Paper Series 0461, European Central Bank.
  36. Rene Garcia & Marco Bonomo, 2004. "Optimal Rules under Adjustment Cost and Infrequent Information," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 135, Econometric Society.
  37. Josef Baumgartner & Claudia Kwapil & Johann Scharler, 2005. "The Price-Setting Behavior of Austrian Firms: Some Survey Evidence," Working Papers 100, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  38. Armstrong, Mark, 2008. "Interactions between competition and consumer policy," MPRA Paper 7258, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. Mirko Wiederholt & Emanuel Moench & Bartosz Maćkowiak, 2009. "Sectoral Price Data and Models of Price Setting," 2009 Meeting Papers 666, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  42. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Imperfect Common Knowledge and the Effects of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. Kristoffer Nimark, 2007. "Dynamic Pricing and Imperfect Common Knowledge," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2007-12, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  46. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Pervasive Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 164-169, May.
  47. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "Analytical Approximations in Models of Hysteresis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 141-51, January.
  48. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  49. 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.
  50. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  51. 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, March.
  52. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2006. "Inertia of Forward-Looking Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 152-157, May.
  53. 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.
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.