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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 (DSGE) 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 decoupling 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. We find that in contrast to a model without inventories, Ramsey-optimal monetary policy in a model with inventories deviates from complete inflation stabilization. In the standard model, nominal price rigidity is a deadweight loss on the economy, which an optimizing policymaker attempts to remove. With inventories, a planner can reduce consumption volatility and raise welfare by accumulating inventories and letting prices change as an equilibrating mechanism. We find also find that the application of simple rules comes very close to replicating Ramsey optimal outcomes.

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Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2010-07.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2010-07
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  1. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Papers 01-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. 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.
  3. Mark Bils & James Kahn, 1998. "What inventory behavior tells us about business cycles," Research Paper 9817, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2002. "Inventories and the business cycle: an equilibrium analysis of (S,s) policies," Working Papers 02-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  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. 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.
  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. Wen, Yi, 2002. "Understanding the Inventory Cycle," Working Papers 02-04, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  11. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
  12. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
  13. 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.
  14. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 10309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  18. 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.
  19. Krause, M.U. & Lubik, T.A., 2003. "The (Ir)relevance of Real Wage Rigidity in the New Keynesian Model with Search Frictions," Discussion Paper 2003-113, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. David Lopez-Salido & Andrew T. Levin, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Endogenous Capital Accumulation," 2004 Meeting Papers 826, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  23. Aubhik Khan, 2003. "The role of inventories in the business cycle," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q3, pages 38-45.
  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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