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Lumpy Investment, Lumpy Inventories

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  • Rüdiger Bachmann
  • Lin Ma

Abstract

How do microeconomic frictions and microeconomic heterogeneity affect macroeconomic dynamics? We revisit the recent claim in the literature that nonconvex capital adjustment costs do not matter for aggregate dynamics. We argue that the neutrality of fixed adjustment frictions in general equilibrium hinges on the assumption of capital good homogeneity. With only one type of capital good to save and invest in, fixed capital investment dynamics are tightly linked to consumption dynamics, which are similar across lumpy and frictionless investment models. With capital goods heterogeneity, households optimally substitute between different ways of saving, which renders their consumption/saving decisions more sensitive to capital adjustment frictions. We quantify our arguments by introducing inventories into a two-sector lumpy investment model. We find that with inventories, frictionless fixed capital adjustment leads to an initial response of fixed capital investment to productivity shocks that is 50% higher than with capital adjustment frictions, calibrated to the fraction of plants undergoing lumpy investment episodes. We argue more generally that the details of how general equilibrium is introduced into the physical environment of a model matters for the aggregate relevance of microeconomic frictions and microeconomic heterogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • Rüdiger Bachmann & Lin Ma, 2012. "Lumpy Investment, Lumpy Inventories," NBER Working Papers 17924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17924
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reiter, Michael & Sveen, Tommy & Weinke, Lutz, 2009. "Lumpy Investment and State-Dependent Pricing in General Equilibrium," Economics Series 239, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    2. Krusell, Per & Smith, Anthony A., 1997. "Income And Wealth Heterogeneity, Portfolio Choice, And Equilibrium Asset Returns," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 387-422, June.
    3. Gourio, Francois & Kashyap, Anil K, 2007. "Investment spikes: New facts and a general equilibrium exploration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 1-22, September.
    4. Khan, Aubhik & Thomas, Julia K., 2003. "Nonconvex factor adjustments in equilibrium business cycle models: do nonlinearities matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 331-360, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
    7. Michael K. Johnston, 2009. "Real and Nominal Frictions within the Firm: How Lumpy Investment Matters for Price Adjustment," Staff Working Papers 09-36, Bank of Canada.
    8. Christopher L. House, 2008. "Fixed Costs and Long-Lived Investments," NBER Working Papers 14402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. R?diger Bachmann & Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel, 2013. "Aggregate Implications of Lumpy Investment: New Evidence and a DSGE Model," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 29-67, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jocaae:v:10:y:2014:i:3:p:277-295 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Andre Silva & Bernardino Adao, 2017. "The Effect of Firm Cash Holdings on Monetary Policy," 2017 Meeting Papers 528, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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