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Price Setting in a Leading Swiss Online Supermarket

  • Martin Berka
  • Michael B. Devereux
  • Thomas Rudolph

We study a newly released data set of scanner prices for food products in a large Swiss online supermarket. We find that average prices change about every two months, but when we exclude temporary sales, prices are extremely sticky, changing on average once every three years. Non-sale price behavior is broadly consistent with menu cost models of sticky prices. When we focus specifically on the behavior of sale prices, however, we find that the characteristics of price adjustment seems to be substantially at odds with standard theory.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17126.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17126
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  1. Ivancic, Lorraine & Erwin Diewert, W. & Fox, Kevin J., 2011. "Scanner data, time aggregation and the construction of price indexes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 24-35, March.
  2. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap & Peter E. Rossi, 2003. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 15-37, March.
  3. Mark Gertler & John V. Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips curve with an Ss foundation," Working Papers 06-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. 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.
  5. Bernardo Guimaraes & Kevin D. Sheedy, 2011. "Sales and Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 844-76, April.
  6. Robert Lucas & Mike Golosov, 2004. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," 2004 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Monetary Non-Neutrality in a Multi-Sector Menu Cost Model," NBER Working Papers 14001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Staff Working Papers 05-4, Bank of Canada.
  10. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2010. "Product Creation and Destruction: Evidence and Price Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 691-723, June.
  11. Eyal Baharad & Benjamin Eden, 2003. "Price Rigidity and Price Dispersion: Evidence from Micro Data," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0321, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  12. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "Prices are Sticky After All," NBER Working Papers 16364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  14. Emi Nakamura, 2008. "Pass-Through in Retail and Wholesale," NBER Working Papers 13965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K Kashyap, 2011. "Best Prices," NBER Working Papers 16680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  17. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "Reference Prices, Costs, and Nominal Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 234-62, February.
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