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Pricing behavior and the introduction of the euro: evidence from a panel of restaurants

Eugenio Gaiotti () and Francesco Lippi

Macroeconomics from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper assembles an original panel of data from 2,500 restaurants in Italy over 1998-2004, with the objective of studying whether the euro cash changeover had an impact on individual pricing behavior, as apparently perceived by consumers, and which economic mechanisms may explain it. On the first point, the data show that only about a price increase of 3-4 percentage points can be attributed to the new currency; the changeover focussed the public attention over a medium-run trend, prompting the attribution of the whole increase to the introduction of the euro. On the second point, we reach two conclusions. We find evidence consistent with the existence of “menu-costs”: during the changeover the rise in the average meal price is mainly due to a larger fraction of agents who simultaneously revise their price. We also find that during the changeover more market power (proxied by a index of concentration on local markets) was associated with larger price increases; we propose a simple interpretation based on consumer behavior which may also explain why the effects of the cash changeover were especially pronounced in this industry as opposed to more competitive ones.

Keywords: euro cash changeover; menu cost (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-eec, nep-mac and nep-mon
Date: 2005-01-20, Revised 2005-02-15
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 45
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (20) Track citations by RSS feed

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Working Paper: Pricing Behaviour and the Introduction of the Euro: Evidence from a Panel of Restaurants (2005) Downloads
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