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Inventories and Risk in African Manufacturing

  • Fafchamps, Marcel
  • Gunning, Jan Willem
  • Oostendorp, Remco

Using a panel data set for Zimbabwe which includes firm-specific measures of contractual risk, we show that contractual risk has a major effect on the holding input stocks and, to a lesser extent, the constitution of cash reserves. This is consistent with inventories being a hedge against stockout risk. By contrast, firms facing more inter-annual market risk hold less inventories. This suggests that African manufacturers prefer adapting to long-term market fluctuations as they materialise rather than building up inventories. This interpretation is consistent with the finding that high market risk firms also have a low capacity utilisation rate.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 110 (2000)
Issue (Month): 466 (October)
Pages: 861-93

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:110:y:2000:i:466:p:861-93
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  24. Alan S. Blinder, 1981. "Inventories and Sticky Prices: More on the Microfoundations of Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 0620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
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  28. Milne, Alistair, 1994. "The Production Smoothing Model of Inventories Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 399-407, March.
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