Cyclical Pricing of Durable Goods
NBER Working Paper No. 3050
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.