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Luc Aucremanne

22 April 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 331
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Abstract
This paper examines the degree of price rigidity in Belgian consumer prices, using a large database. As to the observed degree of rigidity, the results reveal a substantial amount of heterogeneity, not only across but also within product categories. While prices turn out to be perfectly flexible for some product categories, they tend to be very sticky for others. Each month, nearly 17 p.c. of the consumer prices change on average and the median duration of a price spell is close to 13 months. A substantial subset of our results is compatible with state-dependent pricing, while other results suggest that some timedependency exists as well. The majority of price changes are price increases, but price decreases are not uncommon, except for services. The size of price changes is important. Price changes do not seem to be highly synchronised across price-setters within relatively homogenous product categories.
JEL Code
D21 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Theory
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
16 March 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 448
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Abstract
This paper reports the results of an ad hoc survey on price-setting behaviour conducted in February 2004 among 2,000 Belgian firms. The reported results clearly deviate from a situation of perfect competition and show that firms have some market power. Pricing-to-market is applied by a majority of industrial firms. Prices are rather sticky. The average duration between two consecutive price reviews is 10 months, whereas it amounts to 13 months between two consecutive price changes. Most firms adopt time-dependent price reviewing under normal circumstances. However, when specific events occur, the majority will adopt a state-dependent behaviour. Evidence is found in favour of both nominal (mainly implicit and explicit contracts) and real rigidities (including flat marginal costs and counter-cyclical movements in desired mark-ups). The survey results point to a non-negligible degree of non-optimal price-setting.
JEL Code
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
L11 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Production, Pricing, and Market Structure, Size Distribution of Firms
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
30 March 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 462
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Abstract
Using Logistic Normal regressions, we model the price-setting behaviour for a large sample of Belgian consumer prices over the January 1989 - January 2001 period. Our results indicate that time-dependent features are very important, particularly an infinite mixture of Calvo pricing rules and truncation at specific horizons. Truncation is mainly a characteristic of pricing in the service sector where it mostly takes the form of annual Taylor contracts typically renewed at the end of December. Several other variables, including some that can be considered as state variables, are also found to be statistically significant. This is particularly so for accumulated sectoral inflation since the last price change. Once heterogeneity and the role of accumulated inflation are acknowledged, hazard functions become mildly upward-sloping, even in a low inflation regime. The contribution of the state-dependent variables to the pseudo-R
JEL Code
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
C25 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models, Discrete Regressors, Proportions
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
23 March 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 597
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Abstract
Surprisingly it did not, or at least not directly. Using micro data on consumer prices and sectoral inflation rates from 6 euro area countries, spanning several years before and after the introduction of the euro, we look at whether EMU has altered the behaviour of retail price setting and/or inflation dynamics. We find no evidence that anything has changed around 1999 - if anything, persistence may have slightly increased. At the end of 2001 and in the beginning of 2002 (period surrounding the euro cash changeover) retail price adjustment frequencies, both up and down, increased substantially, while the magnitude of the price adjustment, also both up and down, was smaller than otherwise. However, both settled quickly back to the earlier patterns. On the contrary, we do find evidence of a decline in the persistence of the inflation process in the mid-1990s. This could be due to a structural change in private inflationary expectations due, at least in part, to policies linked to the preparation of EMU; however, this interpretation is weakened by the fact that a similar decline occurred also in the US.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
Network
Proceedings of June 2005 workshop on what effects is EMU having on the euro area and its member countries?