The Geography of Retail Inventory
How different are retailers' inventory levels around the world? Specifically, are retailers' inventories constant across countries, converging, or at least co-integrating? These might be viewed as various forms of global determinism. To see which of these forms hold, I use a novel dataset integrated from Dow Jones, Edgar, Bureau van Dijk (Europe), World'Vest Base, Multex, KIS (Korea Information Service), Teikoku of Japan, Huaxia of China, and COMPUSTAT. The dataset consists of 27,000 firm-year observations for 4,100 retailers in 23 countries, for the period 1983 through 2004. I find evidence to reject all the three forms of global determinism. Instead, I report evidence consistent with an alternative hypothesis - local contingency - in which country effects can explain inventory differences around the world. I also show that this conclusion is robust in numerous ways.
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