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Customer Anger at Price Increases, Time Variation in the Frequency of Price Changes and Monetary Policy

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  • Julio J. Rotemberg

Abstract

While much evidence suggests tha price rigidity is due to a concern with the reaction of customers, price increases do not seem to be typically associated with drastic reduction in purchases. To explain this apparent inconsistency, this paper develops a model where consumers care about the fairness of prices and react negatively only when they become convinced that prices are unfair. This leads to price rigidity, though the implications of the model are not identical to those of existing models of costly price adjustment. In particular, the frequency of price adjustment ought to depend on economy-wide variables observed by consumers. As I show, this has implications for the effects of monetary policy. It can, in particular, explain why inflation does not fall immediately after a monetary tightening.

Suggested Citation

  • Julio J. Rotemberg, 2002. "Customer Anger at Price Increases, Time Variation in the Frequency of Price Changes and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 9320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9320
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates

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