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Heterogeneity and Output Fluctuations in a Dynamic Menu-Cost Economy

  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Eduardo M.R.A. Engel

When firms face menu costs, the relation between their output and money is highly nonlinear. At the aggregate level, however, this needs not be so. In this paper we study the dynamic behavior of a general equilibrium menu-cost economy where firms are heterogeneous in the shocks they perceive, and the demands and adjustment Costs they face. In this context we (i) generalize the Caplin and Spulber [1987] steady state monetary neutrality result; (ii) show that uniqueness of equilibria depends not only on the degree of strategic complementarities but also on the degree of dispersion of firms' positions in their price-cycle; (iii) characterize the path of output outside the steady state and show that as strategic complementarities become more important, expansions become longer and smoother than contractions; and (iv) show that the potential effectiveness of monetary policy is an increasing function of the distance of the economy from its steady state, but that an uninformed policy maker will have no effect on output on average.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3729.

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Date of creation: Jun 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Review of Economic Studies, 60(1), January 1993, p. 95-120
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3729
Note: EFG
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  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1991. "Dynamic (S,s) Economies," NBER Working Papers 3734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Benabou, Roland, 1987. "Optimal price dynamics and speculation with a storable good," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8708, CEPREMAP.
  3. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  5. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1983. "Optimum Pricing Policy under Stochastic Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 513-29, July.
  6. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-38, May.
  7. Caplin, Andrew S & Spulber, Daniel F, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-25, November.
  8. Barro, Robert J, 1972. "A Theory of Monopolistic Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 17-26, January.
  9. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1987. "The Equilibrium and Optimal Timing of Price Changes," NBER Working Papers 2432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-20, September.
  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.
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