Almut Balleer, Sebastian Link, Manuel Menkhoff, Peter Zorn, 27 July 2020

The relative importance of supply and demand during the Covid-19 pandemic is a key input into effective policy design. This column uses firm-level data on planned price changes by firms from a monthly survey covering all relevant sectors of the German economy to show that both demand and supply forces coexist, but that demand deficiencies dominate in the short run.

James Costain, Anton Nakov, 28 June 2019

Recent low inflation is motivating new research to better characterise how individual firms and workers set prices and wages. This column describes a new approach which emphasises that the costs of decision making may limit the precision of price and wage changes. As well as making better sense of price and wage changes in microeconomic data, this new approach also strikes a middle ground between two leading models of monetary policy transmission, improving our quantitative understanding of the short-run effects of monetary policy on output and the short-run trade-off between inflation and unemployment.

Philipp Hartmann, Peter McAdam, 29 October 2018

The origins and implications of the low inflation dynamics that characterised the post-crisis recoveries in many advanced economies were at the heart of the ECB’s 2018 Sintra Forum on Central Banking. In this column, two of the organisers highlight some of the main points from the discussions, including why measured economic slack did not translate into more vivid price and wage growth, which role inflation expectations play in the conduct of monetary policy, as well as where the challenges lie in reconciling changes in micro price-setting with aggregate inflation dynamics.

Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Oleksandr Talavera, Slavik Sheremirov, 21 January 2015

An increasing share of purchases are made online where price changes are very cheap. This column presents new evidence on price dispersions and frictions using novel data from an online shopping platform from the US and the UK. Online prices are more flexible than prices in conventional stores but still sticky. Prices of goods sold online could be as imperfect as in regular markets. 

Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Oleksandr Talavera, 15 September 2014

Online markets have unusual characteristics that allow testing whether the law of one price holds. This column uses a unique dataset to demonstrate that the frictions in the price adjustments in online markets are indeed lower. The authors find that in online markets the price change is smaller, the duration of price spell – shorter, the pass-through is larger, and speed of price adjustment – faster. In the future, we can expect smaller price differentials, bringing the law of one price closer to reality.


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