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Luis J. Álvarez

24 November 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 416
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Abstract
This paper identifies the basic features of the price setting mechanism in the Spanish economy, using a large dataset that contains over 1.1 million price records and covers around 70% of the expenditure on the CPI basket. In particular, the paper identifies differences in the frequency and size of price adjustments across types of products and explores how these general features are affected by certain specific factors: seasonality, the level of inflation, changes in indirect taxation and the practice of using psychological and round prices. We find that prices do not change often but do so by a large amount, although there is a marked heterogeneity across products. Moreover, the high frequency of price reductions suggests that there is no strong downward rigidity. Our evidence also supports the use of time and state-dependent pricing strategies.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
C25 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models, Discrete Regressors, Proportions
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
30 March 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 461
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Abstract
A common finding in empirical studies using micro data on consumer and producer prices is that hazard functions for price changes are decreasing. This means that a firm will have a lower probability of changing its price the longer it has kept it unchanged. This result is at odds with standard models of price setting. Here a simple explanation is proposed: decreasing hazards may result from aggregating heterogeneous price setters. We show analytically the form of this heterogeneity effect for the most commonly used pricing rules and find that the aggregate hazard is (nearly always decreasing. Results are illustrated using Spanish producer and consumer price data. We find that a very accurate representation of individual data is obtained by considering just 4 groups of agents: one group of flexible Calvo agents, one group of intermediate Calvo agents and one group of sticky Calvo agents plus an annual Calvo process.
JEL Code
C40 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→General
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
E30 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→General
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
14 September 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 524
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Abstract
This paper documents patterns of price setting at the retail level in the euro area, summarized in six stylized facts. First, the average euro area monthly frequency of price adjustment is 15 p.c., compared to about 25 p.c. in the US. Second, the frequency of price changes is characterized by substantial cross product heterogeneity - prices of oil and unprocessed food products change very often, while price adjustments are less frequent for processed food, non energy industrial goods and services. Third, cross country heterogeneity exists but is less pronounced. Fourth, price decreases are not uncommon. Fifth, price increases and decreases are sizeable compared to aggregate and sectoral inflation rates. Sixth, price changes are not highly synchronized across retailers. Moreover, the frequency of price changes in the euro area is related to several factors, such as seasonality, outlet type, indirect taxation, pricing practices as well as aggregate or product specific inflation.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
C25 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models, Discrete Regressors, Proportions
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
Annexes
14 September 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 522
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Abstract
This paper identifies the basic features of price setting behaviour at the producer level in the Spanish economy using a large dataset containing the micro data underlying the construction of the PPI over the period 1991-1999. It explores how these general features are affected by some specific factors (cost structure, degree of competition, demand conditions, government intervention, level of inflation, seasonality, and the practice of using attractive prices) and presents a comparison of price setting practices at the producer and at the consumer level to ascertain whether the retail sector augments or mitigates price stickiness. We find that prices do not change often but do so by a large amount. The cost structure, proxied by the labour share and the relevance of raw materials, and the degree of competition, proxied by import penetration, affect price flexibility. We also find some evidence that producer prices are more flexible than consumer prices.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
31 October 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 538
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Abstract
This paper reports the results of a survey carried out by the Banco de Espa
JEL Code
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
14 December 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 563
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Abstract
This paper presents original evidence on price setting in the euro area at the individual level. We use micro data on consumer (CPI) and producer (PPI) prices, as well as survey information. Our main findings are: (i) prices in the euro area are sticky and more so than in the US; (ii) there is evidence of heterogeneity and of asymmetries in price setting behaviour; (iii) downward price rigidity is only slightly more marked than upward price rigidity and (iv) implicit or explicit contracts and coordination failure theories are important, whereas menu or information costs are judged much less relevant by firms.
JEL Code
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
30 September 2011
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 128
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Abstract
The distributive trades sector, which is primarily accounted for by wholesale and retail trade, is not only economically important in its own right, but also relevant to monetary policy. Ultimately, it is retailers who set the actual prices of most consumer goods. They are the main interface between producers of consumer goods and consumers, with around half of private consumption accounted for by retail trade. The
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics