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Capacity Utilisation, Constraintes and Price Adjustments under the Microscope

  • Sarah Marit Lein
  • Eva Köberl

This paper analyses the interplay of capacity utilisation, capacity constraints, demand constraints and price adjustments, employing a unique firm-level data set for Swiss manufacturing firms. Theoretically, capacity constraints limit the ability of firms to expand production in the short run and lead to increases in prices. Our results show that, on the one hand, price increases are more likely during periods when firms are faced with capacity constraints. Constraints due to the shortage of labour, in particular, lead to price increases. On the other hand, we also find evidence that firms are not reluctant to reduce prices in response to demand constraints. At the macro level, the implied capacity-utilisation Phillips curve has a convex shape during periods of excess demand and a concave shape during periods of excess supply. Our results are robust to the inclusion of proxies for changes in costs and the competitive position of firms.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank in its series Working Papers with number 2009-06.

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Length: 64 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2009-06
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  8. Schaling, Eric, 2004. "The Nonlinear Phillips Curve and Inflation Forecast Targeting: Symmetric versus Asymmetric Monetary Policy Rules," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 361-86, June.
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  13. Emmanuel De Veirman, 2009. "What Makes the Output-Inflation Trade-Off Change? The Absence of Accelerating Deflation in Japan," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1117-1140, 09.
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  17. Alberto Musso & Livio Stracca & Dick van Dijk, 2009. "Instability and Nonlinearity in the Euro-Area Phillips Curve," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 5(2), pages 181-212, June.
  18. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  19. Tiff Macklem, 1997. "Capacity constraints, price adjustment, and monetary policy," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 1997(Spring), pages 39-56.
  20. Pedro Pablo Alvarez Lois, 2000. "Endogenous capacity utilization and the asymmetric effects of monetary policy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 469.00, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  21. Douglas Laxton & Guy Debelle, 1996. "Is the Phillips Curve Really a Curve? Some Evidence for Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States," IMF Working Papers 96/111, International Monetary Fund.
  22. Baghli, Mustapha & Cahn, Christophe & Fraisse, Henri, 2007. "Is the inflation-output Nexus asymmetric in the Euro area?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 1-6, January.
  23. Douglas Laxton & Guy Meredith & David Rose, 1995. "Asymmetric Effects of Economic Activity on Inflation: Evidence and Policy Implications," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(2), pages 344-374, June.
  24. Alvarez-Lois, Pedro P., 2004. "Capacity constraints, idiosyncratic demand uncertainty and the dynamics of inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 15-21, April.
  25. 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.
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