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Sticky Prices in the United States

Julio J. Rotemberg
Journal of Political Economy
Vol. 90, No. 6 (Dec., 1982), pp. 1187-1211
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1830944
Page Count: 25
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Sticky Prices in the United States
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Abstract

It has often been argued that prices are sticky in the United States. However, the empirical papers that have claimed to support this view have not reflected any formal behavioral theory. This paper presents a theory that justifies price stickiness, namely, that firms, fearing to upset their customers, attribute a cost to price changes. The rational expectations equilibrium of an economy with many such firms is presented, estimated with postwar U.S. data, and tested against alternative hypotheses. The results largely support the model. Furthermore, the hypothesis that prices are not sticky is rejected by U.S. data.

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