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Price-Setting Behaviour in Switzerland Evidence from CPI Micro Data

  • Daniel Kaufmann

This paper investigates price-setting behaviour of firms based on the individual price quotes underlying the Swiss consumer price index. The data set covers the years from 1993 to 2005. Six main findings emerge from the analysis. (i) Prices are sticky; the median duration amounts to 4.6 quarters. (ii) Price-setting behaviour is heterogeneous across sectors and outlet characteristics. (iii) Price changes are sizeable; the median absolute size amounts to 9.4%. (iv) There is no indication of general downward price stickiness; even in the case of positive inflation, 41.3% of all price adjustments are decreases and the distributions of price changes do not show substantial asymmetries. (v) Firms respond to expected cost shocks at the date of their occurrence; VAT rate changes do not lead to more price adjustments before they take effect. (vi) There is some evidence that firms adjust their behaviour according to the state of the economy; in particular, firms facing higher rates of inflation adjust prices more frequently.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank in its series Working Papers with number 2008-15.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2008-15
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  1. Fabiani, Silvia & Druant, Martine & Hernando, Ignacio & Kwapil, Claudia & Landau, Bettina & Loupias, Claire & Martins, Fernando & Mathä, Thomas Y. & Sabbatini, Roberto & Stahl, Harald & Stokman, Ad C., 2005. "The pricing behaviour of firms in the euro area: new survey evidence," Working Paper Series 0535, European Central Bank.
  2. Fougère, D. & Le Bihan, H. & Sevestre, P., 2005. "Heterogeneity in Consumer Price Stickiness: A Microeconometric Investigation," Working papers 137, Banque de France.
  3. Lorenz Goette & Rudolf Minsch & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Micro Evidence on the Adjustment of Sticky-Price Goods: It's How Often, not How Much," Discussion Papers 05-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Denis Fougère & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Sevestre, 2007. "Heterogeneity in consumer price stickiness. A microeconometric investigation," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00278922, HAL.
  5. Etienne Gagnon, 2009. "Price Setting During Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1221-1263, August.
  6. Sarah M. Rupprecht, 2007. "When Do Firms Adjust Prices? Evidence from Micro Panel Data," KOF Working papers 07-160, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  7. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2008. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 863-904, August.
  8. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
  9. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2004. "Robustness And Real Consequences Of Nominal Wage Rigidity," Macroeconomics 0409025, EconWPA.
  10. Andreas M. Fischer & Matthias Lutz & Manuel Wälti, 2007. "Who Prices Locally? Survey Evidence of Swiss Exporters," Working Papers 2007-16, Swiss National Bank.
  11. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  12. Dias, D.A. & Marques, C. Robalo & Santos Silva, J.M.C., 2007. "Time- or state-dependent price setting rules? Evidence from micro data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1589-1613, October.
  13. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2005. "Fixed-Effects and Related Estimators for Correlated Random-Coefficient and Treatment-Effect Panel Data Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 385-390, May.
  14. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  15. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
  16. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Arellano, M, 1987. "Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Groups Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 431-34, November.
  18. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing And The General Equilibrium Dynamics Of Money And Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690, May.
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