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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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17126.pdf
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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
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17126
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  1. Diewert, Erwin & Fox, Kevin J. & Ivancic, Lorraine, 2009. "Scanner Data, Time Aggregation and the Construction of Price Indexes," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2009-48, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Sep 2009.
  2. 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.
  3. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips curve with an Ss foundation," Working Papers 06-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Peter E. Rossi & Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap, 2002. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm291, Yale School of Management.
  7. 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.
  8. Eyal Baharad & Benjamin Eden, 2004. "Price Rigidity and Price Dispersion: Evidence from Micro Data," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 613-641, July.
  9. Emi Nakamura, 2008. "Pass-Through in Retail and Wholesale," NBER Working Papers 13965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "Prices are Sticky After All," NBER Working Papers 16364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  12. 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.
  13. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K Kashyap, 2011. "Best Prices," NBER Working Papers 16680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Robert Lucas & Mike Golosov, 2004. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," 2004 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Bernardo Guimaraes & Kevin D. Sheedy, 2008. "Sales and monetary policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25492, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  16. 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.
  17. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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