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Adam Reiff

11 July 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1453
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Abstract
How do prices react to large aggregate shocks? Our new micro-data evidence on value-added tax changes shows that prices react (i) flexibly and (ii) asymmetrically to large positive and negative shocks. We use it to quantitatively evaluate the performance of prominent pricing models. We show that standard time-dependent models are unable to reproduce either of these facts. A realistically calibrated state-dependent menu cost model, in contrast, is successful in matching the observed price responses. Its success lies in its ability to capture the exploding fraction of price changes for large shocks. The evidence facilitates comparison of different menu cost models and raises doubts on alternative pricing models with information or search frictions as sole reasons for price rigidity.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
28 November 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1742
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Abstract
Using a comprehensive data set on retail prices across the euro area, we analyse within- and cross-country price dispersion in European countries. First, we study price dispersion over time, by investigating the time-series evolution of the coefficient of variation, calculated from price levels. Second, since we find that cross-sectional price dispersion by far dominates price dispersion over time, we study price dispersion across space and investigate the role of geographical barriers (distance and national borders). We find that (i) prices move together more closely in locations that are closer to each other; (ii) cross-country price dispersion is by an order of magnitude larger than within-country price dispersion, even after controlling for product heterogeneity; (iii) a large part of cross- country price differences can be explained by different tax rates, income levels and consumption intensities. In addition, we find some indication that price dispersion in the euro area has declined since the inception of the Monetary Union.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
Network
Nielsen Disaggregated Price Dataset