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General Equilibrium Analysis of the Supply of Capital


  • Wen, Yi

    (Cornell U)


The point of this paper is that if output is durable then optimal behavior of a supplier is characterized by production smoothing. Durability of goods (such as capital) has opposite effects on the supply of the goods. Higher durability on the one hand raises the variability of investment demand for the goods by lowering the user's cost, which tends to raise the variability of supply; on the other hand it lowers the expected future demand for the goods, which tends to reduce the variability of supply. These opposite effects of durability manifest in economies where suppliers of durable goods opt to use inventories to buffer demand shocks. Due to inventory adjustment and rational expectation, the variability of production can be reduced both absolutely and relative to sales if output is durable.

Suggested Citation

  • Wen, Yi, 2004. "General Equilibrium Analysis of the Supply of Capital," Working Papers 04-02, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:04-02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel, 1999. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 783-826, July.
    2. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Andreas Hornstein, 2000. "(S, s) Inventory Policies in General Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 117-145.
    3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Blinder, Alan S, 1982. "Inventories and Sticky Prices: More on the Microfoundations of Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 334-348, June.
    6. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1983. "The Production and Inventory Behavior of the American Automobile Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 365-400, June.
    7. James A. Kahn, 1992. "Why is Production More Volatile than Sales? Theory and Evidence on the Stockout-Avoidance Motive for Inventory-Holding," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 481-510.
    8. Yakov Amihud & Haim Mendelson, 1983. "Price Smoothing and Inventory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 87-98.
    9. Eichenbaum, Martin, 1989. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Production Level and Production Cost Smoothing Models of Inventory Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 853-864, September.
    10. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
    11. Maccini, Louis J & Zabel, Edward, 1996. "Serial Correlation in Demand, Backlogging and Production Volatility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 423-452, May.
    12. Kahn, James A, 1987. "Inventories and the Volatility of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 667-679, September.
    13. Ramey, Valerie A, 1991. "Nonconvex Costs and the Behavior of Inventories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 306-334, April.
    14. Martin Feldstein & Alan Auerbach, 1976. "Inventory Behavior in Durable-Goods Manufacturing: The Target-Adjustment Model," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(2), pages 351-408.
    15. Andrew B. Abel, 1985. "Inventories, Stock-Outs and Production Smoothing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 283-293.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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