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Pascal Seiler

9 October 2023
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2853
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Abstract
We compare supermarket price setting in the US and the euro area and assess its impact on food inflation. We introduce a novel scanner dataset of Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Italy (EA4) and contrast it with an equivalent dataset from the US. We find that both higher frequency and stronger state dependence of price changes contribute to higher flexibility of supermarket inflation in the US relative to the euro area. We argue that the driving force behind both factors is higher cross-sectional volatility in the US. Larger product-level fluctuations both force retailers to adjust prices more frequently and increase price misalignments, which increase the selection of large price changes. [...]
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
F44 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Business Cycles
17 July 2023
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 324
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Abstract
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused a deep recession globally, as well as in the euro area, accompanied by a steep decline in inflation rates in 2020. This paper reviews some of the main challenges created by the pandemic for inflation measurement and provides micro price data analysis of how price setting has reacted to the strong COVID-19 shock. For this purpose, we use three different, but complementary, microdata sources for specific countries and sectors: micro price data underlying the official consumer price indices in Germany, Italy, Latvia and Slovakia; (scanner) data from German and Italian supermarkets; and online (web-scraped) prices for Poland. A common finding of the micro price studies in this paper is that state dependence significantly contributed to the price-setting response to the COVID-19 shock. Nevertheless, the extent and degree of responses varies widely by sector and even country, also depending on the severity of the pandemic situation.
JEL Code
D4 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
14 November 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2748
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Abstract
We provide new evidence on price rigidity at the product level based on microdata underlying the Swiss consumer price index from 2008 to 2020. We find that the frequency of price changes has increased over the last decade, particularly among products where collection switched to online prices, reflecting the rise of e-commerce. Furthermore, price changes tend to be synchronized within rather than across stores. Time variations in inflation can be attributed mainly to variations in the frequency of both price increases and price decreases. In the first year of the pandemic, the frequency of price adjustments changed little on average, while temporary sales responded countercyclically to the respective demand conditions across sectors.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
L11 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Production, Pricing, and Market Structure, Size Distribution of Firms
Network
Price-setting Microdata Analysis Network (PRISMA)