NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Cyclical Pricing of Durable Goods

Mark Bils

NBER Working Paper No. 3050
Issued in July 1989
NBER Program(s):   EFG

I examine price markups in monopolisticly-competitive markets that experience fluctuations in demand because the economy experiences cyclical fluctuations in productivity. Markups depend positively on the average income of purchasers in the market. For a nondurable good average income of purchasers is procyclical; so the markup is procyclical. For a durable good. however. the average income of purchasers is likely to decrease in booms because low income consumers of the good concentrate their purchases in boom periods; so the markup is likely countercyclical. This is particularly true for growing markets. I find markups make the aggregate economy fluctuate more in response to productivity if goods are sufficiently durable.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3050

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