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Time-Varying Business Volatility and the Price Setting of Firms

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Listed:
  • Ruediger Bachmann
  • Benjamin Born
  • Steffen Elstner
  • Christian Grimme

Abstract

Does time-varying business uncertainty/volatility affect the price setting of firms and, if so, in what way? To address this question, we estimate from the firm-level micro data of the German ifo Business Climate Survey the impact of idiosyncratic volatility on the extensive margin of the price setting behavior of firms. We find that heightened business uncertainty increases the probability of a price change, which suggests that, for price setting, the volatility effect dominates the “wait-and-see” effect of uncertainty. In a second step, we use structural VAR models to estimate the effects of time-varying business uncertainty on the intensive pricing margin. We find that higher business uncertainty leads to both an increase in price dispersion and in the average size of absolute price changes which is mainly driven by price decreases. Taken together, our results show that higher business uncertainty causes a rise in both the extensive and intensive margins of price setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruediger Bachmann & Benjamin Born & Steffen Elstner & Christian Grimme, 2013. "Time-Varying Business Volatility and the Price Setting of Firms," NBER Working Papers 19180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19180
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Balleer, Almut & Hristov, Nikolay & Menno, Dominik, 2017. "Financial Constraints and Nominal Price Rigidities," CEPR Discussion Papers 11790, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Sandra Eickmeier & Norbert Metiu & Esteban Prieto, 2016. "Time-varying volatility, financial intermediation and monetary policy," CAMA Working Papers 2016-32, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. Born, Benjamin & Breuer, Sebastian & Elstner, Steffen, 2014. "Uncertainty and the Great Recession," Working Papers 04/2014, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
    4. Berg Tim Oliver, 2015. "Time Varying Fiscal Multipliers in Germany," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 66(1), pages 13-46, April.
    5. Berg, Tim Oliver, 2016. "Business Uncertainty and the Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy in Germany," MPRA Paper 69162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Manuel Buchholz & Lena Tonzer & J. Berner, 2016. "Asymmetric Investment Responses to Firm-specific Uncertainty," IWH Discussion Papers 7, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
    7. repec:eee:dyncon:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:107-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Isaac Baley & Julio A. Blanco, 2016. "Menu Costs, Uncertainty Cycles, and the Propagation of Nominal Shocks," Working Papers 918, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    9. Christian Grimme & Christian Seiler & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2014. "Der Konflikt in der Ukraine und die Ergebnisse der ifo Unternehmensbefragungen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 67(18), pages 46-48, September.
    10. D'Acunto, Francesco & Weber, Michael & Yang, Shuyao, 2017. "Manpower Constraints and Corporate Policies," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168109, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Elstner, Steffen & Hristov, Atanas, 2017. "Surprise, surprise – Measuring firm-level investment innovations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 107-148.
    12. repec:zbw:iwhdps:7-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Buchholz, Manuel & Tonzer, Lena & Berner, Julian, 2016. "Asymmetric Investment Responses to Firm-specific Uncertainty," IWH Discussion Papers 7/2016, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    14. Almut Balleer & Nikolay Hristov & Dominik Menno, 2017. "Financial Constraints and Nominal Price Rigidities," CESifo Working Paper Series 6309, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Joseph S. Vavra, 2014. "Time-Varying Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 19790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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