This paper contributes to the empirical literature on price stickiness by documenting a high rate of nominal rigidity among housing rents in the United States between 1974 and 1981. Of the units studied, 29% had no change in nominal rents from year to year. The incidence was much higher (a) in years and cities with a low median nominal rent growth rate, and among (b) units whose tenants continued from the previous year and (c) units in small buildings. A little less than half of the nominal rigidity can be ascribed to grid pricing. Possible explanations, as well as the likely distributive and allocative implications, are discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.