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Menu Costs, Aggregate Fluctuations and Large Shocks

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  • Adam Reiff

    (National Bank of Hungary)

  • Peter Karadi

    (European Central Bank)

Abstract

In menu cost models, real effects of aggregate nominal shocks are sensitive to unobserved characteristics of price setting. The standard way to calibrate key pricing parameters is to match the cross-sectional distribution of price changes. We argue that this unconditional distribution contains insufficient information for a clean identification. In particular, it is consistent with parameterizations with contradictory aggregate implications: one generating sizeable real effects, the other effective money neutrality. We argue, instead, that price change observations conditional on aggregate shocks can be sufficiently informative. To show this, we utilize new micro level evidence on price responses to large value-added tax shocks. We present a new menu cost model with idiosyncratic shocks and show that our model successfully predicts the magnitude of the observed price responses, outperforming alternative pricing models. The new model generates small real effects of monetary policy shocks implying that imposing the menu cost assumption alone fails to explain robust time-series evidence finding the opposite.

Suggested Citation

  • Adam Reiff & Peter Karadi, 2014. "Menu Costs, Aggregate Fluctuations and Large Shocks," 2014 Meeting Papers 914, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:914
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hobijn, Bart & Nechio, Fernanda, 2015. "Sticker shocks: using VAT changes to estimate upper-level elasticities of substitution," Working Paper Series 2015-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, revised Oct 2017.
    2. Fernando Alvarez & Hervé Le Bihan & Francesco Lippi, 2016. "The Real Effects of Monetary Shocks in Sticky Price Models: A Sufficient Statistic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2817-2851, October.
    3. Isaac Baley & Julio A. Blanco, 2016. "Menu costs, uncertainty cycles, and the propagation of nominal shocks," Economics Working Papers 1532, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. Adam Reiff & Peter Karadi, 2014. "Menu Costs, Aggregate Fluctuations and Large Shocks," 2014 Meeting Papers 914, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Carlsson, Mikael, 2014. "Selection Effects in Producer-Price Setting," Working Paper Series 2014:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    6. Zsombor Cseres-Gergely & Gyorgy Molnar & Tibor Szabo, 2017. "Expenditure responses, policy interventions and heterogeneous welfare effects in Hungary during the 2000s," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1704, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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