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(S,s)Inventory Policies in General Equilibrium

  • Fisher, J.D.M.
  • Hornstein, A.

We study the aggregate implications of (S,s) inventory policies in a dynamic general equilibrium model with aggregate uncertainty. Firms in the model's retail sector face idiosyncratic demand risk, and (S,s) inventory policies are optimal because of fixed order costs. The distribution of inventory holdings affects the aggregate outcome in two ways: variation in the decision to order and variation in the rate of sale through the pricing decisions of retailers. We find that both mechanisms must operate to reconcile observations that orders are more volatile than, and inventory investment is positively correlated with, sales, while remaining consistent with other salient business cycle characteristics. The model exhibits strong amplification for some shocks, and persistence to a limited extent.

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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics in its series UWO Department of Economics Working Papers with number 9514.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:9514
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, Reference Centre, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2

Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/department_working_papers.html

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  1. Bental, Benjamin & Eden, Benjamin, 1993. "Inventories in a Competitive Environment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 863-86, October.
  2. Judd, Kenneth L., 1992. "Projection methods for solving aggregate growth models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 410-452, December.
  3. Joel Sobel & Ichiro Takahashi, 1983. "A Multistage Model of Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 411-426.
  4. Ray C. Fair, 1989. "The Production Smoothing Model is Alive and Well," NBER Working Papers 2877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:oup:restud:v:59:y:1992:i:2:p:299-329 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1997. "Algorithms for solving dynamic models with occasionally binding constraints," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Jonas D.M. Fisher & Andreas Hornstein, 1996. "(S, s) inventory policies in general equilibrium," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  9. repec:oup:restud:v:50:y:1983:i:3:p:411-26 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Caplin, Andrew S, 1985. "The Variability of Aggregate Demand with (S, s) Inventory Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1395-1409, November.
  11. Spencer Krane & Steven Braun, 1990. "Production smoothing evidence from physical-product data," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 103, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Jess Benhabib & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1991. "Homework in macroeconomics: household production and aggregate fluctuations," Staff Report 135, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Andrew S. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-725.
  14. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
  15. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  16. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  17. Alan S. Blinder, 1981. "Retail Inventory Behavior and Business Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(2), pages 443-520.
  18. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  19. Kahn, James A, 1987. "Inventories and the Volatility of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 667-79, September.
  20. repec:oup:restud:v:55:y:1988:i:3:p:353-76 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Roland Benabou, 1988. "Search, Price Setting and Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 353-376.
  22. Ricardo J. Caballero, 1991. "A Fallacy of Composition," NBER Working Papers 3735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Roland Benabou, 1992. "Inflation and Efficiency in Search Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 299-329.
  24. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1989. "The magnitude of the speculative motive for holding inventories in a real business cycle model," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 10, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  25. Lovell, Michael C., 1993. "Simulating the inventory cycle," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 147-179, June.
  26. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708.
  27. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
  28. Rogerson, Richard, 1987. "An Equilibrium Model of Sectoral Reallocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 824-34, August.
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