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Precautionary Price Stickiness

James S. Costain

Banco de España - Research Department

Anton Nakov

European Central Bank (ECB); CEPR

September 23, 2011

Banco de Espana Working Paper No. 1122

This paper proposes two models in which price stickiness arises endogenously even though firms are free to change their prices at zero physical cost. Firms are subject to idiosyncratic and aggregate shocks, and they also face a risk of making errors when they set their prices. In our first specification, firms are assumed to play a dynamic logit equilibrium, which implies that big mistakes are less likely than small ones. The second specification derives logit behavior from an assumption that precision is costly. The empirical implications of the two versions of our model are very similar. Since firms making sufficiently large errors choose to adjust, both versions generate a strong 'selection effect' in response to a nominal shock that eliminates most of the monetary nonneutrality found in the Calvo model. Thus the model implies that money shocks have little impact on the real economy, as in Golosov and Lucas (2007), but fits microdata better than their specification.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: nominal rigidity, logit equilibrium, state-dependent pricing, (S,s) adjustment, near-rational behavior

JEL Classification: E31, D81, C72

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Date posted: July 30, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Costain, James S. and Nakov, Anton, Precautionary Price Stickiness (September 23, 2011). Banco de Espana Working Paper No. 1122. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1932626 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1932626

Contact Information

James S. Costain (Contact Author)
Banco de España - Research Department ( email )
Alcala 50
28014 Madrid
Anton A. Nakov
European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )
Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314

CEPR ( email )
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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