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What inventories tell us about aggregate fluctuations -- a tractable approach to (S,s) policies

  • Pengfei Wang
  • Yi Wen
  • Zhiwei Xu

We estimate a DSGE model with (S,s) inventory policies. We find that (i) taking inventories into account can significantly improve the empirical fit of DSGE models in matching the standard business-cycle moments (in addition to explaining inventory fluctuations); (ii) (S,s) inventory policies can significantly amplify aggregate output fluctuations, in contrast to the findings of the recent general-equilibrium inventory literature; and (iii) aggregate demand shocks become more important than technol- ogy shocks in explaining the business cycle once inventories are incorporated into the model. An independent contribution of our paper is that we develop a solution method for analytically solving (S,s) inventory policies in general-equilibrium models with het- erogeneous firms and a large aggregate state space, and we illustrate how standard log-linearization methods can be used to solve various versions of our inventory model, generate impulse response functions, and estimate the model’s deep structural para- meters.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2012-059.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2012-059
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  1. Julia K. Thomas, 2002. "Is Lumpy Investment Relevant for the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 508-534, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert G. King & Julia K. Thomas, 2006. "Partial Adjustment Without Apology," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 779-809, 08.
  4. Wen, Yi, 2002. "What Does It Take to Explain Procyclical Productivity," Working Papers 02-14, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  5. Yi Wen, 2011. "Input and output inventory dynamics," Working Papers 2011-008, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Krusell, P & Smith Jr, A-A, 1995. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomic," RCER Working Papers 399, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. 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.
  8. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing and the General Equilibrium Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690.
  9. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708.
  10. Pengfei Wang & Yi Wen, 2009. "Inventory accelerator in general equilibrium," Working Papers 2009-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  11. Wen, Yi, 2002. "Understanding the Inventory Cycle," Working Papers 02-04, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. Alan S. Blinder, 1981. "Retail Inventory Behavior and Business Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(2), pages 443-520.
  14. Wen, Yi, 1998. "Capacity Utilization under Increasing Returns to Scale," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 7-36, July.
  15. Lee, Bong-Soo & Ingram, Beth Fisher, 1991. "Simulation estimation of time-series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 197-205, February.
  16. Caplin, Andrew S, 1985. "The Variability of Aggregate Demand with (S, s) Inventory Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1395-1409, November.
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