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Rational Addiction with Optimal Inventories: Theory and Evidence from Cigarette Purchases in Japan

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  • Junmin Wan

Abstract

A model of rational addiction (RA) with optimal inventories is developed and empirically tested using data on purchases in Japan. If a consumer has information regarding a future price increase, then she may hoard addictive goods; in this case, the optimal inventory period increases with the price hike but decreases with the inventory cost. Owing to the creation of such inventories by consumers, the absolute value of the price elasticity of demand is smaller in the case of a price increase than in that of a price decrease, and this difference is especially salient in the short-run. The evidence provided by daily cigarette purchases is consistent with this asymmetric price effect. Monthly cigarette purchase data do not support the RA hypothesis when inventory is ignored, as inventory becomes an omitted variable that correlates with price; however, this hypothesis does find support if inventory is identified in the demand equation.

Suggested Citation

  • Junmin Wan, 2005. "Rational Addiction with Optimal Inventories: Theory and Evidence from Cigarette Purchases in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0641, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0641
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    File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2005/DP0641.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Junmin Wan, 2004. "Consumption of Cigarettes, Nicotine, and Tar under Anti-smoking Policies: Japan as a Case Study," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 04-12-Rev, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised Mar 2006.

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