On Price Dynamics with Search and Bargaining in the Product Market
Mirko Abbritti
Tommaso Trani
Macroeconomic Dynamics

We introduce business-to-business (B2B) relationships into an otherwise standard model to revisit two aspects of price dynamics in a unified analysis. On one side, the pass-through of cost shocks to prices is empirically incomplete. On the other side, the literature contains conjectures that long-term relationships may reduce the allocative role of price changes. After a partial equilibrium analysis of these aspects, we consider the general equilibrium effects. The formation of B2B relationships implies that the trade of intermediate goods depends on search, bargaining, and the adjustment along the intensive margin as opposed to the extensive margin. We find that, when this adjustment is costly, retailers have a relatively high bargaining power, and mismatch shocks are possible, the model can account for the second moments of the US producer price index and other variables. In this case, although its allocative role is low, the intermediate goods price affects the allocation of goods through the search externalities and is sufficiently volatile. The analysis includes several sensitivity tests and comparisons.