IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Actively Learning by Pricing: A Model of an Experimenting Seller

  • Tim Willems

This paper presents a model of a rational seller who is actively learning the slope of his demand curve via his pricing strategy. Consequently, this seller optimally experiments with his price. Resulting price patterns show a lot of discreteness (as observed in the data), which has proved to be a major challenge to most price setting models. This model's learning dynamics are able to reconcile individual price flexibility with aggregate price sluggishness, while the experimentation motive can explain the presence of many idiosyncratic price changes in the data as well as the observation that prices are more volatile than costs.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/13136/paper687.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 687.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 09 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:687
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Filip Matejka & Christopher A. Sims, 2011. "Discrete Actions in Information-Constrained Tracking Problems," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp441, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  2. Bernardo Guimaraes & Kevin D. Sheedy, 2011. "Sales and Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 844-76, April.
  3. Carlsson, Mikael & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Evaluating Microfoundations for Aggregate Price Rigidities: Evidence from Matched Firm- Level Data on Product Prices and Unit Labor Cost," Working Paper Series 231, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  4. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2001. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 153-171, August.
  6. Volker W. Wieland, 1996. "Learning by doing and the value of optimal experimentation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Prescott, Edward C, 1972. "The Multi-Period Control Problem Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 1043-58, November.
  8. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc & Mihov, Ilian, 2007. "Sticky Prices and Monetary Policy: Evidence from Disaggregated US Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 6101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
  10. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Williams, Noah, 2006. "Bayesian and adaptive optimal policy under model uncertainty," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/11, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2007. "Shocks and frictions in US business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0722, European Central Bank.
  12. Amman, Hans M & Kendrick, David A, 1995. "Nonconvexities in Stochastic Control Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 455-75, May.
  13. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  14. Eichenbaum, Martin & Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2008. "Reference Prices and Nominal Rigidities," CEPR Discussion Papers 6709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Mark Gertler & John V. Leahy, 2006. "A Phillips curve with an Ss foundation," Working Papers 06-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  16. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2006. "Deep Habits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 195-218.
  17. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris & Bruno Jullien, 1991. "Optimal Learning by Experimentation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 621-654.
  18. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
  19. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Moench, Emanuel & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Sectoral price data and models of price setting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(S), pages S78-S99.
  20. Esther Gal-Or, 1988. "The Advantages of Imprecise Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 266-275, Summer.
  21. Filip Matejka, 2010. "Rationally Inattentive Seller: Sales and Discrete Pricing," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp408, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  22. Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady, 1998. "Optimal Experimentation in a Changing Environment," Game Theory and Information 9801001, EconWPA.
  23. Cosimano, Thomas F., 2008. "Optimal experimentation and the perturbation method in the neighborhood of the augmented linear regulator problem," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1857-1894, June.
  24. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
  25. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "State-Space Models with Regime Switching: Classical and Gibbs-Sampling Approaches with Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262112388.
  26. Filip Matejka, 2010. "Rigid Pricing and Rationally Inattentive Consumer," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp409, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  27. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2010. "Monetary Non-neutrality in a Multisector Menu Cost Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 961-1013.
  28. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Moench, Emanuel & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Sectoral Price Data and Models of Price Setting," CEPR Discussion Papers 7339, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Sanford J. Grossman & Richard E. Kihlstrom & Leonard J. Mirman, 1977. "A Bayesian Approach to the Production of Information and Learning By Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 533-547.
  30. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "Prices are Sticky After All," NBER Working Papers 16364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Nimark, Kristoffer, 2008. "Dynamic pricing and imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 365-382, March.
  32. Paul Klemperer, 1995. "Competition when Consumers have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 515-539.
  33. Kiefer, Nicholas M & Nyarko, Yaw, 1989. "Optimal Control of an Unknown Linear Process with Learning," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(3), pages 571-86, August.
  34. Volker W. Wieland, 1999. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  35. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," NBER Working Papers 16911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. G. Berttocchi, 1995. "Growth Under Uncertainty with Experimentation," Working Papers 95-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  37. B. Peter Pashigian & Brian Bowen, 1991. "Why Are Products Sold on Sale?: Explanations of Pricing Regularities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1015-1038.
  38. Nakamura, Emi & Steinsson, Jón, 2011. "Price setting in forward-looking customer markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 220-233.
  39. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  40. Elizabeth Chase MacRae, 1972. "Linear Decision with Experimentation," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 1, number 4, pages 437-447 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F, 1990. "Actively Learning about Demand and the Dynamics of Price Adjustment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 882-98, September.
  42. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "Reference Prices, Costs, and Nominal Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 234-62, February.
  43. Kiefer, Nicholas M., 1989. "A value function arising in the economics of information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 201-223, April.
  44. Beck, Gunter W. & Wieland, Volker, 2002. "Learning and control in a changing economic environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(9-10), pages 1359-1377, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:687. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Monica Birds)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.