IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/van/wpaper/0610.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Menu Costs and Markov Inflation: A Theoretical Revision with New Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Ahlin

    () (Department of Economics Vanderbilt University)

  • Mototsugu Shintani

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

We revisit a foundational theoretical paper in the menu cost literature, Sheshinski and Weiss (1983), one of the few to treat stochastic inflation with persistent deviations from trend. In contrast to the original finding, we find that optimal pricing in this environment entails using different (s,S) bands in high-inflation and low-inflation states of the world. The low-inflation band is strictly contained within the high-inflation band. This revised solution has very different implications from the original one. Firms are generally risk-loving, not risk-averse, with respect to inflation. An increase in the variance of inflation increases price dispersion when inflation is high and decreases price dispersion when inflation is low. On an aggregate level, this optimal pricing would lead to bunching of prices and non-neutrality of money in the setting of Caplin and Spulber (1987). To test the main finding, we construct an establishment-level dataset from the months surrounding Mexico's Tequila crisis, in 1995. In the high-inflation state, price increases are larger and establishments allow their prices to vary more widely around their respective long-run mean relative prices. Cross-establishment price dispersion is lower, but this result seems due to decreased establishment heterogeneity rather than narrower (s,S) bands. Overall, the evidence suggests that establishments employ wider (s,S) bands in the high-inflation state.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Ahlin & Mototsugu Shintani, 2006. "Menu Costs and Markov Inflation: A Theoretical Revision with New Evidence," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0610, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0610
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu06-w10.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2006
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 863-904.
    2. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690.
    3. Erceg, Christopher J. & Levin, Andrew T., 2003. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 915-944, May.
    4. Almeida, Heitor & Bonomo, Marco, 2002. "Optimal state-dependent rules, credibility, and inflation inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1317-1336, October.
    5. Leif Danziger, 1999. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 878-901, September.
    6. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-389, April.
    7. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
    8. Burstein, Ariel T., 2006. "Inflation and output dynamics with state-dependent pricing decisions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1235-1257, October.
    9. Benjamin Eden, 2001. "Inflation and Price Adjustment: An Analysis of Microdata," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 607-636, July.
    10. Arturo Estrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2002. "Dynamic Inconsistencies: Counterfactual Implications of a Class of Rational-Expectations Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
    11. 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.
    12. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1997. "Aggregation and Optimization with State-Dependent Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 601-626, May.
    13. Andrew S. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-725.
    14. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708.
    15. 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 431-434, November.
    16. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    17. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1983. "Optimum Pricing Policy under Stochastic Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 513-529.
    18. Mariano Tommasi, 1992. "Inflation and Relative Prices Evidence from Argentina," UCLA Economics Working Papers 661, UCLA Department of Economics.
    19. Tsiddon, Daniel, 1991. "On the Stubbornness of Sticky Prices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(1), pages 69-75, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Caglayan, Mustafa & Filiztekin, Alpay & Rauh, Michael T., 2008. "Inflation, price dispersion, and market structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1187-1208, October.
    2. Crucini, Mario J. & Shintani, Mototsugu & Tsuruga, Takayuki, 2010. "Accounting for persistence and volatility of good-level real exchange rates: The role of sticky information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 48-60, May.
    3. Crucini, Mario J. & Shintani, Mototsugu, 2008. "Persistence in law of one price deviations: Evidence from micro-data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 629-644, April.
    4. Benjamin Eden, 2013. "Price Dispersion And Demand Uncertainty: Evidence From Us Scanner Data," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00015, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    5. Yew-Kwang Ng, 2009. "Why Is a Financial Crisis Important? The Significance of the Relaxation of the Assumption of Perfect Competition," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 8(2), pages 91-114, August.
    6. Andrei Levchenko & Javier Cravino, 2015. "The Distributional Consequences of Exchange Rate Devaluations," 2015 Meeting Papers 1060, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Elberg, Andrés, 2016. "Sticky prices and deviations from the Law of One Price: Evidence from Mexican micro-price data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 191-203.
    8. Erwan Gautier, 2009. "Les ajustements microéconomiques des prix : une synthèse des modèles théoriques et résultats empiriques," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 119(3), pages 323-372.
    9. Javier Cravino & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2017. "The Distributional Consequences of Large Devaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3477-3509, November.
    10. Mario Crucini & Anthony Landry & Craig Benedict, 2014. "On what states do prices depend? Answers from Ecuador," 2014 Meeting Papers 722, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Ross D. Hickey & David S. Jacks, 2011. "Nominal rigidities and retail price dispersion in Canada over the twentieth century," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(3), pages 749-780, August.
    12. Benjamin Eden & Maya Eden & Jonah Yuen, 2016. "Inside The Price Dispersion Box: Evidence From Us Scanner Data," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 16-00017, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    13. Juliane Scharff & Sven Schreiber, 2012. "Evidence on the effects of inflation on price dispersion under indexation," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 291-311, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    (s; S) policy; neutrality of money; optimal pricing; regime switching;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0610. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John P. Conley). General contact details of provider: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.