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Inventories, inflation dynamics, and the New Keynesian Phillips curve

  • Thomas A. Lubik
  • Wing Leong Teo

We introduce inventories into an otherwise standard New Keynesian model and study the implications for inflation dynamics. Inventory holdings are motivated as a means to generate sales for demand-constrained firms. We derive various representations of the New Keynesian Phillips curve with inventories and show that one of these specifications is observationally equivalent to the standard model with respect to the behavior of inflation when the model's cross-equation restrictions are imposed. However, the driving variable in the New Keynesian Phillips curve - real marginal cost - is unobservable and has to be proxied by, for instance, unit labor costs. An alternative approach is to impute marginal cost by using the model's optimality conditions. We show that the stock-sales ratio is linked to marginal cost. We also estimate these various specifications of the New Keynesian Phillips curve using GMM. We find that predictive power of the inventory-specification at best approaches that of the standard model, but does not improve upon it. We conclude that inventories do not play a role in explaining inflation dynamics within our New Keynesian Phillips curve framework.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 10-01.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:10-01
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  1. Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2009. "Inventories, Markups, and Real Rigidities in Menu Cost Models," NBER Working Papers 14651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas A. Lubik & Wing Leong Teo, 2009. "Inventories and optimal monetary policy," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 357-382.
  3. James A. Kahn & Mark Bils, 2000. "What Inventory Behavior Tells Us about Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 458-481, June.
  4. Thomas Lubik & Michael Krause, 2003. "The (Ir)relevance of Real Wage Rigidity in the New Keynesian Model with Search Frictions," Economics Working Paper Archive 504, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  5. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Margaret M. McConnell, 2000. "Output Fluctuations in the United States: What Has Changed since the Early 1980's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1464-1476, December.
  6. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2007. "Inventories and the Business Cycle: An Equilibrium Analysis of ( S, s ) Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1165-1188, September.
  7. Michael U. Krause & Thomas A. Lubik & David López-Salido, 2008. "Inflation dynamics with search frictions : a structural econometric analysis," Working Paper 08-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  8. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Testing for Indeterminacy:An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 480, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
  9. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  10. 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.
  11. James M. Nason & Gregor W. Smith, 2008. "The New Keynesian Phillips curve : lessons from single-equation econometric estimation," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 361-395.
  12. Kahn, James A, 1992. "Why Is Production More Volatile Than Sales? Theory and Evidence on the Stockout-Avoidance Motive for Inventory-Holding," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 481-510, May.
  13. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
  14. 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.
  15. Michael U. Krause & David J. Lopez-Salido & Thomas Lubik, 2007. "Do Search Frictions Matter for Inflation Dynamics?," Kiel Working Papers 1353, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  16. Kahn, James A, 1987. "Inventories and the Volatility of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 667-79, September.
  17. 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.
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