Price Rigidity and the Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations

65 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2018

See all articles by Ernesto Pasten

Ernesto Pasten

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Raphael Schoenle

Brandeis University

Michael Weber

University of Chicago - Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 23, 2018


We document a novel role of heterogeneity in price rigidity: It strongly amplifies the capacity of idiosyncratic shocks to drive aggregate fluctuations. Heterogeneity in price rigidity also completely changes the identity of sectors from which fluctuations originate. We show these results both theoretically and empirically through the lens of a multi-sector model featuring heterogeneous GDP shares, input-output linkages, and idiosyncratic productivity shocks. Quantitatively, we calibrate our model to 341 sectors and find sectoral productivity shocks can give rise to aggregate fluctuations that are half as large as those arising from an aggregate productivity shock. Heterogeneous price rigidity amplifies the aggregate fluctuations by a factor of more than 2 relative to a flexible-price or homogeneous sticky price economy. Hence, idiosyncratic shocks and heterogeneous price rigidity can account for large parts of aggregate fluctuations and there is hope we will not “forever remain ignorant of the fundamental causes of economic fluctuations” (Cochrane (1994)).

Keywords: input-output linkages, nominal price rigidity, idiosyncratic shocks

JEL Classification: E310, E320, O400

Suggested Citation

Pasten, Ernesto and Schoenle, Raphael and Weber, Michael, Price Rigidity and the Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations (August 23, 2018). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 7190, Available at SSRN: or

Ernesto Pasten

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042

Raphael Schoenle

Brandeis University ( email )

Waltham, MA 02454
United States

Michael Weber (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Finance ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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