IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Private Label Price Rigidity during Holiday Periods

  • Georg Müller

    (Strategic Pricing Group)

  • Mark Bergen

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Shantanu Dutta

    (University of Sourthern California)

  • Daniel Levy

    (Bar-Ilan University)

Using weekly retail transaction scanner price data from a large U.S supermarket chain, we find significantly higher retail price rigidity for private label products than for nationally branded products during the Christmas and Thanksgiving holiday periods relative to the rest of the year. The finding cannot be explained by changes in holiday period promotional practices because we find that private label promotions appear to diminish at least as much as national brands. The increased rigidity of private label products relative to national brands is only partially accounted for by increased rigidity of wholesale prices. After ruling out other potential explanations, we suggest that the higher private label price rigidity might be due to the increased emphasis on social consumption during holiday periods, raising the customers’ value of nationally branded products relative to the private labels.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0503006.

in new window

Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: 10 Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0503006
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 12
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Optimal Pricing with Costly Adjustment: Evidence from Retail-Grocery Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 87-107, January.
  2. Mark J. Zbaracki & Mark Ritson & Daniel Levy & Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen, 2004. "Managerial and Customer Costs of Price Adjustment: Direct Evidence from Industrial Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 514-533, May.
  3. Anil K. Kashyap, 1991. "Sticky prices: new evidence from retail catalogs," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Susanto Basu, 1994. "Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 4817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Otnes, Cele & Lowrey, Tina M & Kim, Young Chan, 1993. " Gift Selection for Easy and Difficult Recipients: A Social Roles Interpretation," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 229-44, September.
  7. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-58, September.
  8. Daniel Levy & Georg Müller & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta, 2009. "Holiday Price Rigidity and Cost of Price Adjustment," Working Papers 2009-03, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  9. Gordon, Robert J, 1981. "Output Fluctuations and Gradual Price Adjustment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 493-530, June.
  10. Robert Barsky & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2001. "What Can the Price Gap between Branded and Private Label Products Tell Us about Markups?," NBER Working Papers 8426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Shantanu Dutta & Mark Bergen & Daniel Levy, 2002. "Price Flexibility in Channels of Distribution: Evidence from Scanner Data," Working Papers 2002-10, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  12. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  13. Levy, Daniel & Dutta, Shantanu & Bergen, Mark, 2002. "Heterogeneity in Price Rigidity: Evidence from a Case Study Using Microlevel Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 197-220, February.
  14. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:4:p:1015-38 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. 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.
  16. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:3:p:683-708 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 2003. " Inflation and the Informativeness of Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(2), pages 177-96, April.
  18. 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.
  19. Robert C. Feenstra & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2003. "Scanner Data and Price Indexes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen03-1, December.
  20. Roger Gordon, 2006. "Editor, Journal of Economic Literature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 510-511, May.
  21. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:2:p:321-52 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:100:y:1985:i:2:p:529-38 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Belk, Russell W, 1976. " It's the Thought That Counts: A Signed Digraph Analysis of Gift-Giving," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 155-62, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0503006. 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)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.