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Price Setting with menu cost for Multi-product firms

  • Fernando E. Alvarez
  • Francesco Lippi

We model the decisions of a multi-product firm that faces a fixed "menu" cost: once it is paid, the firm can adjust the price of all its products. We characterize analytically the steady state firm's decisions in terms of the structural parameters: the variability of the flexible prices, the curvature of the profit function, the size of the menu cost, and the number of products sold. We provide expressions for the steady state frequency of adjustment, the hazard rate of price adjustments, and the size distribution of price changes, all in terms of the structural parameters. We study analytically the impulse response of aggregate prices and output to a monetary shock. The size of the output response and its duration increase with the number of products, they more than double as the number of products goes from 1 to ten, quickly converging to the ones of Taylor's staggered price model.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17923.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Price setting with menu cost for multi-product firms, with Francesco Lippi, 2013. forthcoming, Econometrica.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17923
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  1. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2013. "Monetary Shocks with Observation and menu Costs," EIEF Working Papers Series 1310, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised May 2013.
  2. Raphael S. Schoenle & Saroj Bhattarai, 2011. "Multiproduct Firms and Price-Setting: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Producer Prices," 2011 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Fernando E. Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2010. "Optimal price setting with observation and menu costs," NBER Working Papers 15852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Marco Bonomo & Carlos Carvalho, 2004. "Endogenous Time-Dependent Rules and Inflation Inertia," Macroeconomics 0402005, EconWPA, revised 19 May 2005.
  9. Neiman, Brent, 2010. "Stickiness, synchronization, and passthrough in intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 295-308, April.
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  13. Daniel Tsiddon, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902.
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  16. Emmanuel Dhyne & Jerzy Konieczny, 2007. "Temporal Distribution of Price Changes: Staggering in the Large and Synchronization in the Small," Working Paper Series 01_07, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
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  21. 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.
  22. Alberto Cavallo, 2015. "Scraped Data and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 21490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  24. Baccarin, Stefano, 2009. "Optimal impulse control for a multidimensional cash management system with generalized cost functions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 196(1), pages 198-206, July.
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  26. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo & Josephine Smith, 2014. "How Frequent Are Small Price Changes?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 137-55, April.
  27. Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2009. "Price adjustments and inflation - evidence from Norwegian consumer price data 1975-2004," Working Paper 2009/11, Norges Bank.
  28. Avinash Dixit, 1991. "Analytical Approximations in Models of Hysteresis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 141-151.
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