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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. 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.
  3. Mark Bils & James Kahn, 1998. "What inventory behavior tells us about business cycles," Research Paper 9817, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Thomas A. Lubik & Wing Leong Teo, 2010. "Inventories, inflation dynamics, and the New Keynesian Phillips curve," Working Paper 10-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  5. Kryvtsov, Oleksiy & Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2010. "Inventories and real rigidities in New Keynesian business cycle models," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 259-281, June.
  6. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2004. "Inventories and the business cycle: an equilibrium analysis of (S,s) policies," Working Papers 04-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Kenneth D. West, 1985. "A Variance Bounds Test of the Linear Quardractic Inventory Model," NBER Working Papers 1581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2004. "Optimal Simple and Implementable Monetary and Fiscal Rules," NBER Working Papers 10253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 10309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
  12. Jonas D.M. Fisher & Andreas Hornstein, 1996. "(S, s) inventory policies in general equilibrium," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  13. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Paper 00-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  14. Noah Williams & Andrew Levin & Alexei Onatski, 2005. "Monetary Policy under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 478, Society for Computational Economics.
  15. David Lopez-Salido & Andrew T. Levin, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Endogenous Capital Accumulation," 2004 Meeting Papers 826, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Thomas Lubik & Michael Krause, 2003. "The (Ir)relevance of Real Wage Rigidity in the New Keynesian Model with Search Frictions," Economics Working Paper Archive 504, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  17. Wen, Yi, 2002. "Understanding the Inventory Cycle," Working Papers 02-04, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  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. Bartholomew Moore & Louis J Maccini & Huntley Schaller, 2002. "The Interest Rate Learning and Inventory Investment," Economics Working Paper Archive 512, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Apr 2004.
  22. Aubhik Khan, 2003. "The role of inventories in the business cycle," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q3, pages 38-45.
  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. Louis J. Maccini & Adrian Pagan, 2006. "Inventories, Fluctuations and Business Cycles. Working paper #4," NCER Working Paper Series 4, National Centre for Econometric Research.
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