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Rational Addiction with Optimal Inventories: Theory and Evidence from Cigarette Purchases in Japan

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  • Junmin Wan
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    Abstract

    A model of rational addiction (RA) with optimal inventories is developed and empirically tested using data on purchases in Japan. If a consumer has information regarding a future price increase, then she may hoard addictive goods; in this case, the optimal inventory period increases with the price hike but decreases with the inventory cost. Owing to the creation of such inventories by consumers, the absolute value of the price elasticity of demand is smaller in the case of a price increase than in that of a price decrease, and this difference is especially salient in the short-run. The evidence provided by daily cigarette purchases is consistent with this asymmetric price effect. Monthly cigarette purchase data do not support the RA hypothesis when inventory is ignored, as inventory becomes an omitted variable that correlates with price; however, this hypothesis does find support if inventory is identified in the demand equation.

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    Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0641.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0641

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    1. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
    2. Hendel, Igal & Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Sales and Consumer Inventory," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt0p18h2d8, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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    7. Gary S. Becker & Michael Grossman & Kevin M. Murphy, 1990. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 61, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    8. Angrist, Joshua D & Graddy, Kathryn & Imbens, Guido W, 2000. "The Interpretation of Instrumental Variables Estimators in Simultaneous Equations Models with an Application to the Demand for Fish," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 499-527, July.
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    10. Auld, M. Christopher & Grootendorst, Paul, 2004. "An empirical analysis of milk addiction," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1117-1133, November.
    11. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    12. Keeler, Theodore E. & Hu, Teh-Wei & Barnett, Paul G. & Manning, Williard G., 1993. "Taxation, regulation, and addiction: A demand function for cigarettes based on time-series evidence," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-18, April.
    13. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Koszegi, 2000. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Chaloupka, Frank, 1991. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 722-42, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Junmin Wan, 2004. "Consumption of Cigarettes, Nicotine, and Tar under Anti-smoking Policies: Japan as a Case Study," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 04-12-Rev, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised Mar 2006.

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