IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpma/0402020.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Zbaracki

    (Pennsylvania)

  • Mark Ritson

    (London Business School)

  • Daniel Levy

    (Bar-Ilan & Emory)

  • Shantanu Dutta

    (USC)

  • Mark Bergen

    (Minnesota)

Abstract

We study the price adjustment practices and provide quantitative measurement of the managerial and customer costs of price adjustment using data from a large U.S. industrial manufacturer and its customers. We find that price adjustment costs are a much more complex construct than the existing industrial organization or the macroeconomics literature recognizes. In addition to physical costs ("menu costs"), we identify and measure three types of managerial costs—information gathering, decision-making and communication costs, and two types of customer costs—communication, and negotiation costs. We find that the managerial costs are more than six times, and customer costs are more than twenty times, the menu costs. In total, the price adjustment costs comprise 1.22 percent of the company’s revenue and 20.03 percent of the company’s net margin. We show that many components of the managerial and customer costs are convex, while the menu costs are not. We also document the link between price adjustment costs and price rigidity. Finally, we provide evidence of managers’ fear of "antagonizing" customers.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," Macroeconomics 0402020, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0402020 Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on Win 98; to print on Any printer; pages: 48 ; figures: There are no figures
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mac/papers/0402/0402020.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, pages 791-824.
    2. Jonathan L. Willis, 2000. "Estimation of adjustment costs in a model of state-dependent pricing," Research Working Paper RWP 00-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    3. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-538.
    4. Michael B. Devereux, 1997. "Real Exchange Rates and Macroeconomics: Evidence and Theory," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 773-808, November.
    5. Gordon, Robert J, 1990. "What Is New-Keynesian Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1115-1171.
    6. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1985. "A Near-Rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Inertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 823-838.
    7. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multiproduct Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1175-1196.
    8. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 198-230.
    9. Leif Danziger, 1999. "A Dynamic Economy with Costly Price Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 878-901.
    10. Allan H. Meltzer, 1995. "Information, sticky prices and macroeconomic foundations," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, pages 101-118.
    11. Yulei Luo, 2008. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, pages 366-385.
    12. McCallum, Bennett T, 1986. "On "Real' and "Sticky-Price' Theories of the Business Cycle," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(4), pages 397-414, November.
    13. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1992. "Staggered and Synchronized Price Policies Under Inflation: The Multiproduct Monopoly Case," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 331-359.
    14. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-Neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 183-203.
    15. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1994. "A sticky-price manifesto," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 127-151.
    16. Paul R. Bergin & Robert C. Feenstra, 2017. "Pricing-to-Market, Staggered Contracts, and Real Exchange Rate Persistence," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Macroeconomic Interdependence, chapter 6, pages 155-185 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    17. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 647-666.
    18. Lane, Philip R., 2001. "The new open economy macroeconomics: a survey," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 235-266.
    19. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1989. "The Equilibrium and Optimal Timing of Price Changes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 179-198.
    20. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
    21. Simon Hall & Mark Walsh & Anthony Yates, 1997. "How do UK companies set prices?," Bank of England working papers 67, Bank of England.
    22. Bruce Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "New and Old Keynesians," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
    23. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
    24. Margaret E. Slade & G.R.E.Q.A.M., 1998. "Optimal Pricing with Costly Adjustment: Evidence from Retail-Grocery Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 87-107.
    25. Durlauf, Steven N., 2001. "Manifesto for a growth econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 65-69, January.
    26. 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.
    27. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multiproduct Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1175-1196.
    28. Carlton, Dennis W., 1989. "The theory and the facts of how markets clear: Is industrial organization valuable for understanding macroeconomics?," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 909-946 Elsevier.
    29. Anil K Kashyap, 1995. "Sticky Prices: New Evidence from Retail Catalogs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 245-274.
    30. Lane, Philip R., 2001. "The new open economy macroeconomics: a survey," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 235-266.
    31. 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.
    32. 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.
    33. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 637-658.
    34. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    35. Mark Zbaracki & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy & Mark Ritson, 2005. "Beyond the Cost of Price Adjustment: Investments in Pricing Capital," Macroeconomics 0505013, EconWPA.
    36. David Genesove, 2003. "The Nominal Rigidity of Apartment Rents," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 844-853, November.
    37. Danziger, Leif, 2003. "Inflation, costly price and quantity adjustments, and time spent in the Keynesian regime," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 161-166, August.
    38. Julio Rotemberg, 1987. "The New Keynesian Microfoundations," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 69-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy & Robert Venable, 2005. "Menu Costs, Posted Prices, and Multiproduct Retailers," Macroeconomics 0505007, EconWPA.
    40. 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.
    41. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Monetary Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number greg94-1.
    42. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Menu Cost; Cost of Price Adjustment; Managerial Cost; Customer Cost; Information Gathering Cost; Information Processing Cost; Decision Making Cost; Communication Cost; Thinking Cost; Negotiation Cost; Customer Antagonization Cost; Convex Cost of Price Adjustment; Sticky Prices; Price Rigidity;

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

    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:wpa:wuwpma:0402020. 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: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: http://econwpa.repec.org .

    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.