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Temporal Distribution of Price Changes: Staggering in the Large and Synchronization in the Small

Emmanuel Dhyne () and Jerzy Konieczny

Working Paper series from Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis

Abstract: Temporal distribution of individual price changes is of crucial importance for business cycle theory and for the microfoundations of price adjustment. While it is routinely assumed that price changes are staggered over time, both theory and evidence are ambiguous. We use a large Belgian data set to analyze whether price changes are staggered or synchronized. We find that the more aggregated are the data, the closer is the distribution to perfect staggering. This result holds both for aggregation across goods, and across locations. Our results provide support for BhaskarÕs (2002) model of synchronized adjustment within, and staggered adjustment across, industries.

Date: 2007-07
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