NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Sticky Prices as Coordination Failure

Laurence Ball, David Romer

NBER Working Paper No. 2327
Issued in July 1987
NBER Program(s):   EFG

This paper shows that nominal price rigidity can arise from a failure to coordinate price changes. If a firm's desired price is increasing in others' prices, then the gains to the firm from adjusting its price after a nominal shock are greater if others adjust. This "strategic complementarity" in price adjustment can lead to multiple equilibria in the degree of nominal rigidity. Welfare may be much higher in the equilibria with less rigidity. In addition, with multiple equilibrium degrees of rigidity, the economy may have several short-run equilibria but a unique long-run equilibrium.

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Published: American Economic Review, Vol. 81, No. 3, pp. 539-552, June 1991.

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