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Inventories, Markups, and Real Rigidities in Menu Cost Models

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  • Oleksiy Kryvtsov
  • Virgiliu Midrigan

Abstract

Real rigidities that limit the responsiveness of real marginal cost to output are a key ingredient of sticky price models necessary to account for the dynamics of output and inflation. We argue here, in the spirit of Bils and Kahn (2000), that the behavior of marginal cost over the cycle is directly related to that of inventories, data on which is readily available. We study a menu cost economy in which firms hold inventories in order to avoid stockouts and to economize on fixed ordering costs. We find that, for low rates of depreciation similar to those in the data, inventories are highly sensitive to changes in the cost of holding and acquiring them over the cycle. This implies that the model requires an elasticity of real marginal cost to output approximately equal to the inverse of the elasticity of intertemporal substitution in order to account for the countercyclical inventory-to-sales ratio in the data. Stronger real rigidities lower the cost of acquiring and holding inventories during booms and counterfactually predict a procyclical inventory-to-sales ratio.

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  • Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2009. "Inventories, Markups, and Real Rigidities in Menu Cost Models," NBER Working Papers 14651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14651
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    Cited by:

    1. Bartosz Mackowiak & Frank Smets, 2008. "On implications of micro price data for macro models," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 53.
    2. 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.
    3. Crouzet, Nicolas & Oh, Hyunseung, 2016. "What do inventories tell us about news-driven business cycles?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 49-66.
    4. Bec Frédérique & Salem Melika Ben, 2013. "Inventory investment and the business cycle: the usual suspect," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(3), pages 335-343, May.
    5. Lubik, Thomas A. & Teo, Wing Leong, 2012. "Inventories, inflation dynamics and the New Keynesian Phillips curve," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 327-346.
    6. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2012. "Reset Price Inflation and the Impact of Monetary Policy Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2798-2825, October.
    7. Akiyuki Tonogi, 2013. "The Relation between Inventory Investment and Price Dynamics in a Distributive Firm," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 010, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
    8. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2014. "Resurrecting the Role of the Product Market Wedge in Recessions," NBER Working Papers 20555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Giorgio Motta & Raffaele Rossi, 2018. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Consumption Taxation," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 239, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    10. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2013. "Testing for Keynesian Labor Demand," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 311-349.
    11. Klenow, Peter J. & Malin, Benjamin A., 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 6, pages 231-284 Elsevier.
    12. Julia Thomas & Aubhik Khan, 2016. "(S,s) insights into the role of inventories in business cycles and high frequency fluctuations," 2016 Meeting Papers 662, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Yi Wen, 2011. "Input and Output Inventory Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-212, October.
    14. Reiter, Michael & Sveen, Tommy & Weinke, Lutz, 2013. "Lumpy investment and the monetary transmission mechanism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 821-834.
    15. repec:taf:nzecpp:v:51:y:2017:i:3:p:217-236 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2011. "Inventories, Markups and Real Rigidities in Sticky Price Models of the Canadian Economy," Staff Working Papers 11-9, Bank of Canada.
    17. Camilo Morales-Jimenez, 2014. "Information Frictions, Nominal Shocks, and the Role of Inventories in Price-Setting Decisions," 2014 Meeting Papers 747, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Zhiwei Xu & Yi Wen & pengfei Wang, 2012. "When Do Inventories Destabilize the Economy? ---A Tractable Approach to (S,s) Policies," 2012 Meeting Papers 288, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Willy W. Hoffmaister & Jens R Clausen, 2010. "Cyclical Behavior of Inventories and Growth Projections Recent Evidence From Europe and the United States," IMF Working Papers 10/212, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Nicolas Vincent, 2014. "On the Importance of Sales for Aggregate Price Flexibility," Staff Working Papers 14-45, Bank of Canada.
    21. Miles Parker, 2017. "Price-setting behaviour in New Zealand," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(3), pages 217-236, September.

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    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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