Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2011:8: Evaluating microfoundations for aggregate price rigidities: evidence from matched firm-level data on product prices and unit labor cost

Mikael Carlsson () and Oskar Nordström Skans ()
Additional contact information
Mikael Carlsson: Sveriges Riksbank
Oskar Nordström Skans: IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation, Postal: Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: Using data on product-level prices matched to the producing firm's unit labor cost, we reject the hyptothesis of a full and immediate pass-through of marginal cost. Since we focus on idiosyncratic variation, this does not fit the predictions of the Makowiak and Wiederholt (2009) version of the Rational inattention model. Neither do we find that firms react strongly to predictable marginal cost changes, as expected from the Mankiw and Reis (2002) Sticky information model. We find that, in line with Staggered contracts models, firms consider both the current and future expected marginal cost when setting prices with a sum of coefficients not significantly different from unity.

Keywords: Price setting; business cycles; information; micro data

JEL-codes: L16

36 pages, April 6, 2011

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