Price Dispersion, Private Uncertainty, And Endogenous Nominal Rigidities

53 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2018

Date Written: December 1, 2017


This paper shows that when agents learn from prices, large private uncertainty may result from a small amount of heterogeneity. As in a Phelps-Lucas island model, final producers look at the prices of their local inputs to infer aggregate conditions. However, market linkages between islands make the informativeness of local prices endogenous to general equilibrium relations. In this context, I show that a vanishingly small heterogeneity in local conditions is enough to generate an equilibrium in which prices are rigid to aggregate shocks and transmit only partial information. I use this insight as a microfoundation for price rigidity in an otherwise frictionless monetary model and show that even a tiny amount of dispersion in fundamentals can lead to large non-neutrality of money.

Keywords: learning from prices, expectational coordination, dispersed information

JEL Classification: D82, D83, E3

Suggested Citation

Gaballo, Gaetano, Price Dispersion, Private Uncertainty, And Endogenous Nominal Rigidities (December 1, 2017). Banque de France Working Paper No. 653. Available at SSRN: or

Gaetano Gaballo (Contact Author)

Banque de France ( email )


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