NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Staggering and Synchronization in Price-Setting: Evidence from Multipro-duct Firms

Saul Lach, Daniel Tsiddon

NBER Working Paper No. 4759
Issued in June 1994

Most of the theoretical literature on price-setting behavior deals with the special case in which only a single price is changed. At the retail-store level, at least, where dozens of products are sold by a single price-setter, price-setting policies are not formulated for individual products. This feature of economic behavior raises a host of questions whose answers carry interesting implications. Are price setters staggered in the timing of price changes? Are price changes of different products synchronized within the store? If so, is this a result of aggregate shocks or of the presence of a store- specific component in the cost of adjusting prices? Can observed small changes in prices be rationalized by a menu cost model? We exploit the multiproduct dimension of the dataset on prices used in Lach and Tsiddon (1992a) to explore several of these and other issues. To the best of our knowledge this is the first empirical work on this subject.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4759

Published: American Economic Review, 1996, Vol.86, No.5, pp.1175-1196.

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