Optimal Price Setting During a Currency Changeover: Theory and Evidence from French Restaurants
33 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 1, 2012
This paper studies firms' price-setting decision during a currency changeover. Buyers' difficulties with the new nominal price level create incentives to raise prices temporarily but doing so comes at the risk of damaging a seller's reputation in the long run. We model firms' trade-off and study under which conditions increasing or decreasing prices is optimal. A key variable in the decision is buyers' information about a firm's conversion, which in turn is affected by (i) a firm's size, (ii) the proportion of regular buyers, and (iii) the visibility of a good's price. Difference-in-differences analyses based on micro-data of French restaurants strongly support the model's predictions empirically. Indeed, prices around the 2002 changeover in the European Monetary Union are less likely to rise in larger and non-tourist restaurants, especially when prices are advertised.
Keywords: Price setting, changeover, euro, inflation
JEL Classification: E31, F33, M39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation