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The Distribution of the Size of Price Changes

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  • Cavallo, Alberto

    () (MIT Sloan.)

  • Rigobon, Roberto

    () (MIT Sloan & NBER.)

Abstract

Different theories of price stickiness have distinct implications on the number of modes in the distribution of price changes. We formally test for the number of modes in the price change distribution of 36 supermarkets, spanning 22 countries and 5 continents. We present results for three modality tests: the two best-known tests in the statistical literature, Hartigan's Dip and Silverman's Bandwidth, and a test designed in this paper, called the Proportional Mass test (PM). Three main results are uncovered. First, when the traditional tests are used, unimodality is rejected in about 90 percent of the retailers. When we used the PM test, which reduces the impact of smaller modes in the distribution and can be applied to test for modality around zero percent, we still reject unimodality in two thirds of the supermarkets. Second, category-level heterogeneity can account for about half of the PM test's rejections of unimodality. Finally, a simulation of the model in Alvarez, Lippi, and Paciello (2010) shows that the data is consistent a combination of both time and state-dependent pricing behaviors.

Suggested Citation

  • Cavallo, Alberto & Rigobon, Roberto, 2011. "The Distribution of the Size of Price Changes," Working Papers 2011-011, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  • Handle: RePEc:rbp:wpaper:2011-011
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    Cited by:

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    2. Etienne Gagnon & David López-Salido & Nicolas Vincent, 2013. "Individual Price Adjustment along the Extensive Margin," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 235-281.
    3. Kota Watanabe & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2017. "Price Rigidity at Near-Zero Inflation Rates: Evidence from Japan," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 076, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Banerjee, Shesadri & Bhattacharya, Rudrani, 2017. "Micro-level Price Setting Behaviour in India: Evidence from Group and Sub-Group Level CPI-IW Data," Working Papers 17/217, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    5. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi, 2014. "Price Setting With Menu Cost for Multiproduct Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 89-135, January.
    6. Choudhary, M. Ali & Faheem, Abdul & Hanif, M. Nadim & Naeem, Saima & Pasha, Farooq, 2016. "Price setting & price stickiness: A developing economy perspective," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 44-61.
    7. Erwan Gautier & Ronan Le Saout, 2017. "L’ajustement microéconomique des prix des carburants en France," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(1), pages 1-24.
    8. Erwan Gautier & Ronan Le Saout, 2015. "The Dynamics of Gasoline Prices: Evidence from Daily French Micro Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(6), pages 1063-1089, September.
    9. Balazs Csonto & Yuxuan Huang & Camilo E Tovar Mora, 2019. "Is Digitalization Driving Domestic Inflation?," IMF Working Papers 2019/271, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Alberto Cavallo & Roberto Rigobon, 2016. "The Billion Prices Project: Using Online Prices for Measurement and Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 151-178, Spring.
    11. Stephane Dupraz, 2017. "A Kinked-Demand Theory of Price Rigidity," 2017 Meeting Papers 387, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Steffen Ahrens & Stephen Sacht, 2014. "Estimating a high-frequency New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 607-628, March.
    13. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo & Josephine Smith, 2014. "How Frequent Are Small Price Changes?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 137-155, April.
    14. Alberto Cavallo & Brent Neiman & Roberto Rigobon, 2014. "Currency Unions, Product Introductions, and the Real Exchange Rate," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 529-595.
    15. Oriol Valles Codina, 2020. "Economic Production as Life: A Classical Approach to Computational Social Science," Working Papers 2001, New School for Social Research, Department of Economics.
    16. Alberto Cavallo, 2018. "Scraped Data and Sticky Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 105-119, March.
    17. Federico Kochen, 2016. "Price-Setting in Mexico and the Real Effects of Monetary Shocks," Working Papers 2016-21, Banco de México.

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    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles

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