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Regular Adjustment - Theory and Evidenc

We ask why, in many circumstances and many environments, decision-makers choose to act on a time-regular basis (e.g. adjust every six weeks, etc.) or on a state-regular basis (e.g. change an interest rate by 0.25%, etc.), even though such an approach appears suboptimal. The paper attributes regular behaviour to adjustment cost heterogeneity. The reasons for this heterogeneity are discussed. We show that, given the cost heterogeneity, the likelihood of adopting regular policies depends on the shape of the benefit function: the flatter it is, the more likely, ceteris paribus, is regular adjustment. In general, however, there is no clear relationship between the degree of cost and benefit function heterogeneity and the incidence of regular adjustment. We provide sufficient conditions under which the less frequent are adjustments, the greater is the incidence of regular policies. To test the model we use a large Austrian data set, which consists of the direct price information collected by the statistical office and covers 80% of the CPI over eight years. We run cross-sectional tests, regressing the proportion of attractive prices and, separately, the excess proportion of price changes at the beginning of a year and at the beginning of a quarter, on various conditional frequencies of adjustment, inflation and its variability, dummies for good types, and other relevant variables. The results provide strong support for the model: the lower is, in a given market, the conditional frequency of price changes, the higher is the incidence of time- and state-regular adjustment.

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Paper provided by Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number eg0055.

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Length: 51
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision: 2006
Handle: RePEc:wlu:wpaper:eg0055
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  1. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2004. "Fair Pricing," NBER Working Papers 10915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Heterogeneity in Price Rigidity: Evidence from a Case Study Using Micro-Level Data," Macroeconomics 0402021, EconWPA.
  3. Daniel Levy & Georg Muller & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2002. "Holiday Price Rigidity and Cost of Price Adjustment," Emory Economics 0208, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  4. Josef Baumgartner & Ernst Glatzer & Fabio Rumler & Alfred Stiglbauer, 2005. "How Frequently Do Consumer Prices Change in Austria? Evidence from Micro CPI Data," Working Papers 101, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  5. Alexander L. Wolman, 2007. "The frequency and costs of individual price adjustment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(6), pages 531-552.
  6. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 1997. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U. S. Supermarket Chains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 791-824.
  7. Etienne Gagnon, 2006. "Price Setting during Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," 2006 Meeting Papers 300, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Álvarez & Hervé Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lünnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2005. "Price setting in the euro area: Some stylized facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Working Paper Research 74, National Bank of Belgium.
  9. 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.
  10. Dutta, Shantanu, et al, 1999. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 683-703, November.
  11. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  12. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
  13. Patrick Lünnemann & Thomas Y. Mathä, 2010. "Consumer price behaviour: evidence from Luxembourg micro data," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2-3), pages 177-192.
  14. Owen, Ann & Trzepacz, David, 2002. "Menu costs, firm strategy, and price rigidity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 345-349, August.
  15. Luc Aucremanne & Emmanuel Dhyne, 2004. "How frequently do prices change? Evidence based on the micro data underlying the Belgian CPI," Working Paper Research 44, National Bank of Belgium.
  16. Dias, Daniel & Robalo Marques, Carlos & Santos Silva, João M. C., 2005. "Time or state dependent price setting rules? Evidence from Portuguese micro data," Working Paper Series 0511, European Central Bank.
  17. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2002. "Customer Anger at Price Increases, Time Variation in the Frequency of Price Changes and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 9320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
  19. Basu, Kaushik, 1997. "Why are so many goods priced to end in nine? And why this practice hurts the producers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 41-44, January.
  20. Álvarez, Luis J. & Hernando, Ignacio, 2004. "Price setting behaviour in Spain: stylised facts using consumer price micro data," Working Paper Series 0416, European Central Bank.
  21. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-32, Nov.-Dec..
  22. Fisher, Timothy C. G. & Konieczny, Jerzy D., 2000. "Synchronization of price changes by multiproduct firms: evidence from Canadian newspaper prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 271-277, September.
  23. 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.
  24. Hoffmann, Johannes & Kurz-Kim, Jeong-Ryeol, 2006. "Consumer price adjustment under the microscope: Germany in a period of low inflation," Working Paper Series 0652, European Central Bank.
  25. 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.
  26. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
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