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Price and inventory dynamics in an oligopoly industry: A framework for commodity markets

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  • Steinmetz, Alexander
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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes the interaction between price and inventory decisions in an oligopoly industry and its implications for the dynamics of prices. The work extends existing literature and especially the work of Hall and Rust (2007) to endogenous prices and strategic oligopoly competition. We show that the optimal decision rule is an (S, s) order policy and prices and inventory are strategic substitutes. Fixed ordering costs generate infrequent orders. Consequently, with strategic competition in prices, (S, s) inventory behavior together with demand uncertainty generates endogenous cyclical patterns in prices without any exogenous shocks. Hence, the developed model provides a promising framework for explaining dynamics of commodity markets and especially observed autocorrelation in price fluctuations. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics in its series W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers with number 82.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:82

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    Keywords: Inventory dynamics; price competition; oligopoly; (S; s) order policy; commodity markets;

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    1. Ellickson, Paul, 2005. "Does Sutton Apply to Supermarkets?," Working Papers 05-05, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    2. Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Inventories and the Short-Run Dynamics of Commodity Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 141-159, Spring.
    3. Margaret E. Slade & Henry Thille, 2006. "Commodity Spot Prices: An Exploratory Assessment of Market Structure and Forward-Trading Effects," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(290), pages 229-256, 05.
    4. Carter, Colin A & MacLaren, Donald, 1997. "Price or Quantity Competition? Oligopolistic Structures in International Commodity Markets," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 373-85, August.
    5. Deaton, A. & Laroque, G., 1989. "On The Behavior Of Commodity Prices," Papers 145, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
    6. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
    7. Deaton, Angus & Laroque, Guy, 1996. "Competitive Storage and Commodity Price Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 896-923, October.
    8. Kirman, Alan P & Sobel, Matthew J, 1974. "Dynamic Oligopoly with Inventories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(2), pages 279-87, March.
    9. George Hall & John Rust, 2007. "The (S,s) Policy is an Optimal Trading Strategy in a Class of Commodity Price Speculation Problems," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 515-538, March.
    10. Aguirregabiria, Victor, 1999. "The Dynamics of Markups and Inventories in Retailing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 275-308, April.
    11. Dutta, Prajit K & Sundaram, Rangarajan, 1992. "Markovian Equilibrium in a Class of Stochastic Games: Existence Theorems for Discounted and Undiscounted Models," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 197-214, April.
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