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Price Setting Under Uncertainty About Inflation

Listed author(s):
  • Diego Perez

    (Stanford)

  • Andres Drenik

    (Stanford)

Registered author(s):

    When setting prices firms use idiosyncratic information about the demand for their products as well as public information about the aggregate macroeconomic state. This paper provides an empirical assessment of the effects of the availability of public information about inflation on price setting. We exploit an event in which economic agents lost access to information about the inflation rate: starting in 2007 the Argentinean government began to misreport the national inflation rate. Our difference-in-difference analysis reveals that this policy led to an increase in the coefficient of variation of prices of 18% with respect to its mean. This effect is analyzed in the context of a general equilibrium model in which agents make use of publicly available information about the inflation rate to set prices. We quantify the model and use it to further explore the effects of higher uncertainty about inflation on the effectiveness of monetary policy and aggregate welfare. We find that monetary policy becomes more effective in a context of higher uncertainty about inflation and that not reporting accurate measures of the CPI entails significant welfare losses.

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    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2015/paper_1429.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2015 Meeting Papers with number 1429.

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    Date of creation: 2015
    Handle: RePEc:red:sed015:1429
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

    Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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    1. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "What Can Survey Forecasts Tell Us about Information Rigidities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 116-159.
    2. Angeletos, George-Marios & La’O, Jennifer, 2009. "Incomplete information, higher-order beliefs and price inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(S), pages 19-37.
    3. Julio Blanco & Isaac Baley, 2013. "Learning to Price," 2013 Meeting Papers 663, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Joseph S. Vavra, 2013. "Inflation Dynamics and Time-Varying Volatility: New Evidence and an Ss Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 19148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Joseph Vavra, 2014. "Inflation Dynamics and Time-Varying Volatility: New Evidence and an Ss Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 215-258.
    6. Cavallo, Alberto, 2013. "Online and official price indexes: Measuring Argentina's inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 152-165.
    7. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," Working Papers 694, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. Reinsdorf, Marshall, 1994. "New Evidence on the Relation between Inflation and Price Dispersion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 720-731, June.
    9. Venky Venkateswaran & Christian Hellwig, 2009. "Setting The Right Prices for the Wrong Reasons," 2009 Meeting Papers 260, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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