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How Rigid Are Producer Prices?

Listed author(s):
  • Pinelopi Goldberg

    (Princeton University)

  • Rebecca Hellerstein

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

How rigid are producer prices? Conventional wisdom is that producer prices are more rigid than and so play less of an allocative role than do consumer prices. In the 1987-2008 micro data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the PPI, we find that producer prices for finished goods and services in fact exhibit roughly the same rigidity as do consumer prices that include sales, and substantially less rigidity than do consumer prices that exclude sales. Large firms change prices two to three times more frequently than do small firms, and by smaller amounts, particularly for price decreases. Longer price durations are associated with larger price changes, though there is considerable heterogeneity in this relationship. Long-term contracts are associated with somewhat greater price rigidity for goods and services, though the differences are not dramatic. The size of price decreases plays a key role in inflation dynamics, while the size of price increases does not. The frequencies of price increases and decreases tend to move together, and so cancel one another out.

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File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/ceps/workingpapers/193goldberg.pdf
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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 1184.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:193goldberg.pdf
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