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Staggering and Synchronisation of Prices in a Low Inflation Environment: Evidence from German Food Stores

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  • Loy, Jens-Peter
  • Weiss, Christoph R.

Abstract

Only a few studies have analysed staggering and synchronisation in pricing behaviour of multi-product firms. These studies used low-frequency data in an environment of high rates of inflation. This paper investigates staggering and synchronisation of weekly prices for ten food products in 131 grocery stores in Germany over the period from May 1995 to December 2000 (296 weeks). Different forms of staggering and synchronisation (across-store synchronisation, within type-of-store synchronisation, within retailer synchronisation or across-product synchronisation) have been analysed. None of these forms of synchronisation is supported empirically however. In contrast, perfect staggering can only be rejected in very few cases indicating that fixed or firm specific menu costs are not major causes for price stickiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Loy, Jens-Peter & Weiss, Christoph R., 2002. "Staggering and Synchronisation of Prices in a Low Inflation Environment: Evidence from German Food Stores," FE Working Papers 0203, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Food Economics and Consumption Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:caufew:0203
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Erwan Gautier, 2009. "Les ajustements microéconomiques des prix : une synthèse des modèles théoriques et résultats empiriques," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 119(3), pages 323-372.
    2. Sebnem Bahadir-Lust & Jens-Peter Loy & Christoph R. Weiss, 2007. "Are they always offering the lowest price? An empirical analysis of the persistence of price dispersion in a low inflation environment," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 777-788.
    3. Hellberg-Bahr, Anneke & Pfeuffer, Martin & Spiller, Achim & Brümmer, Bernhard, 2011. "Using Price Rigidities to Explain Pricing Strategies in the Organic Milk Chain," 2011 International European Forum, February 14-18, 2011, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 122003, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    4. Robert J. Kauffman & Charles A. Wood, 2007. "Follow the leader: price change timing in Internet-based selling," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 679-700.
    5. Lan, Hao & Lloyd, Tim A. & Morgan, C. Wyn, 2013. "The hazard function of sales: An analysis of UK supermarket food prices," 87th Annual Conference, April 8-10, 2013, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 151972, Agricultural Economics Society.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Retail Market; Germany; Pricing Behaviour; Menu Costs;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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