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Price setting in a leading Swiss online supermarket

  • Berka, Martin
  • Devereux, Michael B.
  • Rudolph, Thomas

We study a newly released data set of scanner prices for food products in a large Swiss online supermarket. We find that average prices change about every two months, but when we exclude temporary sales, prices are extremely sticky, changing on average once every three years. Non-sale price behavior is broadly consistent with menu cost models of sticky prices. When we focus specifically on the behavior of sale prices, however, we find that the characteristics of price adjustment seems to be substantially at odds with standard theory.

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File URL: http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/1685
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Paper provided by Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Paper Series with number 1685.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:1685
Contact details of provider: Postal: Alice Fong, Administrator, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600 Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (4) 463-5353
Fax: +64 (4) 463-5014
Web page: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef
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  1. Guimarães, Bernardo & Sheedy, Kevin D., 2008. "Sales and Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 6940, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2010. "Monetary Non-Neutrality in a Multisector Menu Cost Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 961-1013, August.
  4. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "Prices are Sticky After All," NBER Working Papers 16364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ivancic, Lorraine & Erwin Diewert, W. & Fox, Kevin J., 2011. "Scanner data, time aggregation and the construction of price indexes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 24-35, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Eyal Baharad & Benjamin Eden, 2003. "Price Rigidity and Price Dispersion: Evidence from Micro Data," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0321, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  8. Emi Nakamura, 2008. "Pass-Through in Retail and Wholesale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 430-37, May.
  9. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  10. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2008. "A Phillips Curve with an Ss Foundation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 533-572, 06.
  11. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2010. "Product Creation and Destruction: Evidence and Price Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 691-723, June.
  12. Robert Lucas & Mike Golosov, 2004. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," 2004 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "Reference Prices, Costs, and Nominal Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 234-62, February.
  14. Peter E. Rossi & Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap, 2002. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm291, Yale School of Management.
  15. 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.
  16. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K Kashyap, 2011. "Best Prices," NBER Working Papers 16680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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