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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
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. Ernesto Pastén, 2012. "Rational Inattention, Multi-Product Firms and the Neutrality of Money," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 664, Central Bank of Chile.
  2. 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.
  3. Cavallo, Alberto & Rigobon, Roberto, 2011. "The Distribution of the Size of Price Changes," Working Papers 2011-011, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  4. Mark Gertler & John V. Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips curve with an Ss foundation," Working Papers 06-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Alvarez, Fernando & Lippi, Francesco & Paciello, Luigi, 2013. "Monetary Shocks with Observation and Menu Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 9488, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. Laurent Baudry & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Sevestre & Sylvie Tarrieu, 2007. "What do Thirteen Million Price Records have to Say about Consumer Price Rigidity?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(2), pages 139-183, 04.
  10. Neiman, Brent, 2010. "Stickiness, synchronization, and passthrough in intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 295-308, April.
  11. 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.
  12. Saroj Bhattarai & Raphael Schoenle, 2010. "Multiproduct Firms and Price-Setting: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Producer Prices," Working Papers 15, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  13. 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.
  14. Leif Danziger, 1999. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 878-901, September.
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  16. Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2009. "Price adjustments and inflation - evidence from Norwegian consumer price data 1975-2004," Working Paper 2009/11, Norges Bank.
  17. Alberto Cavallo, 2015. "Scraped Data and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 21490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Etienne Gagnon, 2007. "Price setting during low and high inflation: evidence from Mexico," International Finance Discussion Papers 896, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Avinash Dixit, 1991. "Analytical Approximations in Models of Hysteresis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 141-151.
  20. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  21. repec:pri:cepsud:211schoenle is not listed on IDEAS
  22. 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.
  23. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2009. "How rigid are producer prices?," Staff Reports 407, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  25. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  26. Daniel Tsiddon, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902.
  27. 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.
  28. Robert J. Barro, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26.
  29. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-389, April.
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