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Sticky Prices, Markup and the Business Cycle: Some Evidence

  • Giovanni Lombardo

In this paper we provide empirical evidence of a positive correlation between the degree of competition and the persistence of the deviation of real output from trend. Under the assumption of imperfect competition and sticky prices we simulate a simple dynamic general equilibrium model to derive the theoretical correlation between competition and persistence. We then use a panel of 24 OECD countries to estimate the correlation between a measure of the markup and a measure of persistence. The markup is measured using the observed unit labour cost. On the basis of our theoretical results, we find it easier to believe that the observed unit labour cost does indeed reflect the size of the markup. Our result is consistent with existing microeconomic evidence on the relationship between competition and price rigidity.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 01/06.

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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:01/06
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Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom

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  15. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
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  20. 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.
  21. Michael T. Kiley, 1996. "Endogenous price stickiness and business cycle persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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