54 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2017
Date Written: October 31, 2016
We study price dynamics for computer components sold on a price-comparison website. Our fine-grained data — a year of hourly price data for scores of rival retailers — allow us to estimate a dynamic model of competition, backing out structural estimates of managerial frictions. The estimated frictions are substantial, concentrated in the act of monitoring market conditions rather than entering a new price. We use our model to simulate the counterfactual gains from automated price setting and other managerial changes. Coupled with supporting reduced-form statistical evidence, our analysis provides a window into the process of managerial price setting and the microfoundation of pricing inertia, issues of growing interest in industrial organization and macroeconomics.
Keywords: sticky prices; managerial costs; dynamic structural estimation; ecommerce
JEL Classification: L11, C73, D21, L81
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Ellison, Sara Fisher and Snyder, Christopher M. and Zhang, Hongkai, Costs of Managerial Attention and Activity as a Source of Sticky Prices: Structural Estimates from an Online Market (October 31, 2016). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 17-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2893754 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2893754