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Retail inventories, internal finance, and aggregate fluctuations

  • Egon Zakrajsek

We investigate the implications of capital market imperfections for inventory investment in retail trade, using a new source firm-level data--the micro data underlying the published Quarterly Financial Reports. An error-correction model that includes internal funds and forward-looking expectations for the stochastic process of sales is not rejected by the data. Both the cross-sectional and time-series results are consistent with the existence of significant capital market frictions in the retail trade sector: (1) for firms with limited access to capital markets, internal funds are a significant predictor of inventory investment; (2) the predictive power of internal funds is highly asymmetric over a business cycle, rising considerably in recessions. The quantitative significance of financial factors suggests that a large portion of the observed volatility in aggregate retail inventory investment over a business cycle is due to fluctuations in internal funds

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Research Paper with number 9722.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednrp:9722
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