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Martine Druant

16 March 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 448
Details
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
21 October 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 535
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Abstract
This study investigates the pricing behaviour of firms in the euro area on the basis of surveys conducted by nine Eurosystem national central banks, covering more than 11,000 firms. The results, robust across countries, show that firms operate in monopolistically competitive markets, where prices are mostly set following markup rules and where price discrimination is common. Around one-third of firms follow mainly time-dependent pricing rules while two thirds allow for elements of state-dependence. The majority of firms take into account past and expected economic developments in their pricing decisions. Price stickiness is mainly driven by customer relationships
JEL Code
E30 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→General
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
24 August 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1084
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Abstract
This paper presents new evidence on the patterns of price and wage adjustment in European firms and on the extent of nominal rigidities. It uses a unique dataset collected through a firm-level survey conducted in a broad range of countries and covering various sectors. Several conclusions are drawn from this evidence. Firms adjust wages less frequently than prices: the former tend to remain unchanged for about 15 months on average, the latter for around 10 months. The degree of price rigidity varies substantially across sectors and depends strongly on economic features, such as the intensity of competition, the exposure to foreign markets and the share of labour costs in total cost. Instead, country specificities, mostly related to the labour market institutional setting, are more relevant in characterising the pattern of wage adjustment. The latter exhibits also a substantial degree of time-dependence, as firms tend to concentrate wage changes in a specific month, mostly January in the majority of countries. Wage and price changes feed into each other at the micro level and there is a relationship between wage and price rigidity.
JEL Code
D21 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Theory
E30 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→General
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
Network
Wage dynamics network
16 July 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1224
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Abstract
Survey results in 15 European countries for almost 15,000 firms reveal that Belgian firms react more than the average European firm to adverse shocks by reducing permanent and temporary employment. On the basis of a firm-level analysis, this paper confirms that the different reaction to shocks is significant and investigates what factors explain this difference. Although the explanatory value of the variables is limited, most of the explanatory power of the model being associated with the dummy variables coding for firm size, sector and country, the variables investigated provide valuable information. The importance of wage bargaining above the firm level, the automatic system of index-linking wages to past inflation, the limited use of flexible pay, the high share of low-skilled blue-collar workers, the labour intensive production process as well as the less stringent legislation with respect to the protection against dismissal are at the basis of the stronger employment reaction of Belgian firms. On the contrary, employment is safeguarded by the presence of many small firms and a wage cushion.
JEL Code
D21 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Theory
E30 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→General
J31 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs→Wage Level and Structure, Wage Differentials
Network
Wage dynamics network
31 October 2012
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 138
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Abstract
Between the start of the economic and financial crisis in 2008, and early 2010, almost four million jobs were lost in the euro area. Employment began to rise again in the first half of 2011, but declined once more at the end of that year and remains at around three million workers below the pre-crisis level. However, in comparison with the severity of the fall in GDP, employment adjustment has been relatively muted at the aggregate euro area level, mostly due to significant labour hoarding in several euro area countries. While the crisis has, so far, had a more limited or shorter-lived impact in some euro area countries, in others dramatic changes in employment and unemployment rates have been observed and, indeed, more recent data tend to show the effects of a re-intensification of the crisis. The main objectives of this report are: (a) to understand the notable heterogeneity in the adjustment observed across euro area labour markets, ascertaining the role of the various shocks, labour market institutions and policy responses in shaping countries
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics