Using micro price data covering the Great Recession period, we document new facts on price rigidity in France: (i) each month, 17% of prices are changed versus 23% in the United States. When sales are excluded, only 14% of prices are modified in France versus 15% in the United States; (ii) the distribution of price changes is dispersed with a lot of large and very small price changes; (iii) price increases are more frequent in January and September, even after controlling for sales; (iv) price changes related to sales and product replacements are less driven by inflation variations than regular price changes; (v) the monthly inflation rate is correlated to the frequencies of price decreases and increases. The volatility in the sizes of price increases and decreases is mainly due to sales and promotions; (vi) during the Great Recession, the patterns of price adjustment were only slightly modified: the frequency, average size and dispersion of price decreases increased a little.
Nicoletta Berardi, Erwan Gautier and Hervé Le Bihan
Classification JEL : E31, D40, L11.
Keywords : price stickiness, inflation, consumer prices, sales, product substitution
Updated on: 06/12/2018 11:10