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The magnitude of the speculative motive for holding inventories in a real business cycle model

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  • Lawrence J. Christiano
  • Terry J. Fitzgerald

Abstract

The motive to hold inventories purely in the hope of profiting from a price increase is called the speculative motive. This motive has received considerable attention in the literature. However, existing studies do not have a clear implication for how large it is quantitatively. This paper incorporates the speculative motive for holding inventories into an otherwise standard real business cycle model and finds that empirically plausible parameterizations of the model result in an average inventory stock to output ratio that is virtually zero. For this reason, we conclude that the quantitative magnitude of the speculative role for holding inventories in this model is quite small. This suggests the possibility that the study of aggregate economic phenomena can safely abstract from inventory speculation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics with number 10.

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Date of creation: 1989
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:10

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Keywords: Business cycles ; Inventories;

References

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  1. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  2. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  4. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
  5. Kahn, James A, 1987. "Inventories and the Volatility of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 667-79, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Fisher, J.D.M. & Hornstein, A., 1995. "(S,s)Inventory Policies in General Equilibrium," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9514, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  2. Matteo Iacoviello & Fabio Schiantarelli & Scott Schuh, 2010. "Input and output inventories in general equilibrium," International Finance Discussion Papers 1004, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1997. "Algorithms for Solving Dynamic Models with Occasionally Binding Constraints," NBER Technical Working Papers 0218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano, 1989. "Understanding Japan's saving rate: the reconstruction hypothesis," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 10-25.
  5. Chang, Yongsung & Hornstein, Andreas & Sarte, Pierre-Daniel, 2009. "On the employment effects of productivity shocks: The role of inventories, demand elasticity, and sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 328-343, April.

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