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A Flexible View on Prices

  • Nuno Alves
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    This paper argues that the flexible price paradigm is superior to the sticky price paradigm in the context of general equilibrium models. Based on a quarterly data set for six G7 economies, the paper presents two types of evidence showing that prices respond significantly to their underlying fundamentals. First, prices respond contemporaneously and significantly to technology shocks in all countries. Second, the cyclical correlation between prices and unit labor costs is highest contemporaneously and around 0.8 in all cases. This behavior is only consistent with a model where most firms set prices flexibly.

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    File URL: http://www.bportugal.pt/en-US/BdP%20Publications%20Research/WP200406.pdf
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    Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w200406.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w200406
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    1. Sbordone, A.M., 1998. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: a New Test of Price Stickiness," Papers 653, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    2. Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2002. "Does the labor share of income drive inflation?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. James M. MacDonald & Daniel Aaronson, 2000. "How do retail prices react to minimum wage increases?," Working Paper Series WP-00-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    5. Hall, Simon & Walsh, Mark & Yates, Anthony, 2000. "Are UK Companies' Prices Sticky?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 425-46, July.
    6. Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin & Finn E. Kydland, 2004. "Inflation persistence and flexible prices," Working Papers 2001-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    7. Rochelle M. Edge & Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2003. "The responses of wages and prices to technology shocks," Working Paper Series 2003-21, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    8. Davis, Michael C & Hamilton, James D, 2004. "Why Are Prices Sticky? The Dynamics of Wholesale Gasoline Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 17-37, February.
    9. Benjamin Eden, 2001. "Inflation and Price Adjustment: An Analysis of Microdata," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 607-636, July.
    10. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-89, April.
    11. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Daniel Aaronson, 2001. "Price Pass-Through And The Minimum Wage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 158-169, February.
    13. Roberts, John M & Stockton, David J & Struckmeyer, Charles S, 1994. "Evidence on the Flexibility of Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 142-50, February.
    14. Andrea Tambalotti, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy and productivity growth," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 99, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    15. Dutta, Shantanu & Bergen, Mark & Levy, Daniel, 2002. "Price flexibility in channels of distribution: Evidence from scanner data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 1845-1900, September.
    16. Robert Lucas & Mike Golosov, 2004. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," 2004 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. 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.
    18. Chris Edmond, 2005. "Sticky Demand or Sticky Prices?," 2005 Meeting Papers 117, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Chris Edmond, 2003. "On the Sluggish Response of Prices to Money in an Inventory-Theoretic Model of Money Demand," NBER Working Papers 10016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. James M. Nason & Gregor W. Smith, 2005. "Identifying the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Working Papers 1026, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    21. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
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