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Inventories and optimal monetary policy

  • Thomas A. Lubik
  • Wing Leong Teo

We introduce inventories into a standard New Keynesian Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model to study the effect on the design of optimal monetary policy. The possibility of inventory investment changes the transmission mechanism in the model by de-coupling production from final consumption. This allows for a higher degree of consumption smoothing since firms can add excess production to their inventory holdings. We consider both Ramsey-optimal monetary policy and a monetary policy that maximizes consumer welfare over a set of simple interest rate feedback rules. Surprisingly, we find that in contrast to a model without inventories, Ramsey-optimal monetary policy in a model with inventories slightly deviates from complete inflation stabilization, but the welfare differences are minor. Moreover, we also find in line with the existing literature that the application of simple rules comes very close to replicating Ramsey-optimal outcomes.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its journal Economic Quarterly.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): Fall ()
Pages: 357-382

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2009:i:fall:p:357-382:n:v.95no.4
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  1. Ramey, Valerie A. & West, Kenneth D., 1999. "Inventories," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 863-923 Elsevier.
  2. Fisher, Jonas D M & Hornstein, Andreas, 2000. "(S, s) Inventory Policies in General Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 117-45, January.
  3. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kenneth D. West, 1985. "A Variance Bounds Test of the Linear Quardractic Inventory Model," NBER Working Papers 1581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Lopez-Salido & Andrew T. Levin, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Endogenous Capital Accumulation," 2004 Meeting Papers 826, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Working Paper 2007-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
  8. Mark Bils & James A. Kahn, 1999. "What inventory behavior tells us about business cycles," Staff Reports 92, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," Departmental Working Papers 200106, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  10. Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2009. "Inventories and Real Rigidities in New Keynesian Business Cycle Models," Working Papers 09-9, Bank of Canada.
  11. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 10309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Wen, Yi, 2002. "Understanding the Inventory Cycle," Working Papers 02-04, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  13. Louis J. Maccini & Bartholomew J. Moore & Huntley Schaller, 2004. "The Interest Rate, Learning, and Inventory Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1303-1327, December.
  14. Thomas A. Lubik & Wing Leong Teo, 2010. "Inventories, Inflation Dynamics and the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," CAMA Working Papers 2010-13, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  15. Krause, Michael U. & Lubik, Thomas A., 2007. "The (ir)relevance of real wage rigidity in the New Keynesian model with search frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 706-727, April.
  16. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Paper 00-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  17. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
  18. Aubhik Khan & Julia Thomas, 2003. "Inventories and the Business Cycle: An Equilibrium Analysis of (S,s) Policies," NBER Working Papers 10078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Louis J. Maccini & Adrian Pagan, 2006. "Inventories, Fluctuations and Business Cycles. Working paper #4," NCER Working Paper Series 4, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  20. 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.
  21. Martin Boileau & Marc-Andre Letendre, 2011. "Inventories, sticky prices, and the persistence of output and inflation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(10), pages 1161-1174.
  22. Yongseung Jung & Tack Yun, 2005. "Monetary policy shocks, inventory dynamics, and price-setting behavior," Working Paper Series 2006-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  23. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  24. Aubhik Khan, 2003. "The role of inventories in the business cycle," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q3, pages 38-45.
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