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Title: Essays on price rigidity in the UK : evidence from micro data and implications for macro models
Author: Tian, Kun
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 2887
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
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This study consists of three individual essays which all shed light on assessing the price rigidity by using price micro data in the UK. The relevant implications for macro models are also discussed in each essay respectively. The first essay gives a unified framework a la Dixon (2012) to gauge the price rigidity from three perspectives: frequency, hazard function and distribution across firms. On average, the monthly frequency of consumer price change is 19% between 1996 and 2007. Sales and substitutions will significantly affect the frequency of consumer price change. The frequency of consumer price change varies considerable across sectors. The fraction of price changes which are decreasing is about 40%. The hazard function is downward sloping with 12-month spike. The censoring and sampling issues in the estimation of hazard function are discussed thoroughly. The distribution across firms is derived from estimated hazard function, which is consistent with the frequency of price changes. Two benchmark sticky price models are calibrated and simulated. Furthermore, a multiple Calvo and multiple menu costs model are also simulated, based on the empirical finding in micro data. The simulation results suggest that introducing heterogeneity into sticky price models can improve models' fitness in respect to matching micro evidence. The second essay mainly focus on "the monthly frequency of price changes", which is a prominent feature of many studies of the CPI micro-data. In this essay, we see how much the frequency ties down the behavior of price-setters ("firms") in steady-state in terms of the average length of price-spells across firms. We are able to divide an upper and lower bound for the mean duration of price-spells averaged across firms. We use the UK CPI data at the aggregate and sectoral level and find that the actual mean is about twice the theoretical minimum consistent with the observed frequency. We estimate the distribution using the hazard function and find that although the estimated hazard differs significantly from the Calvo distribution, the means and medians are similar. However, despite the micro differences, we find that the artificial Calvo distributions generated using the sectoral frequencies result in very similar impulse responses to the estimated hazards when used in the Smets-Wouters (2003) model. The third essay examines the behavior of individual producer prices in the UK. A number of stylized facts about price setting behavior are uncovered. A time-varying Ss model is set up in a way that is consistent with the stylized facts obtained from the UK PPI data. A duration model (semiparametric survival analysis model) is built in line with the time-varying Ss model. This duration model is estimated by controlling for observed and unobserved heterogeneity across firms. The estimation results suggest that the increase in the inflation rate will significantly increase the hazard rate of price change. The other factors considered in the model will also affect the hazard rate of price change, while in different magnitude.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory