Price Stickiness Definition
The concept of “stickiness” refers to a situation where something does not change. “Price stickiness”, also known as “nominal rigidity” refers to a situation in which price does not change for a good or service despite changes in market demand or costs of production.
A Little More on What is Price Stickiness
Principles of economics dictate that demand for a good or service will fall as prices rise, and demand will rise as prices fall. As such, firms generally raise prices as demand rises and lower prices as demand falls. Firms also tend to raise prices when the cost of inputs rise.
When a good or service is price sticky, the price of the good does not follow these economic patterns. The price remains constant despite greater or lower demand or changes in costs of inputs. This can be because firms are unwilling or unable to change the prices based upon other factors relevant to the product or service. This might be common in regulated industries, long-term contracts, or in markets where substitute goods or services have a strong effect on price.
Price stickiness can occur in situations that would result in a rise or reduction in price. Failure of the price to rise as expected is known as “sticky up”. Failure of a price to go down as expected is known as “sticky down”. Sticky up often results in excess demand at a given price. Sticky down often results in excess supply at a given price (as demand has gone down).