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Price and inventory dynamics in an oligopoly industry: A framework for commodity markets

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  • Steinmetz, Alexander

Abstract

This paper analyzes the interaction between price and inventory decisions in an oligopoly industry and its implications for the dynamics of prices. The work extends existing literature and especially the work of Hall and Rust (2007) to endogenous prices and strategic oligopoly competition. We show that the optimal decision rule is an (S, s) order policy and prices and inventory are strategic substitutes. Fixed ordering costs generate infrequent orders. Consequently, with strategic competition in prices, (S, s) inventory behavior together with demand uncertainty generates endogenous cyclical patterns in prices without any exogenous shocks. Hence, the developed model provides a promising framework for explaining dynamics of commodity markets and especially observed autocorrelation in price fluctuations.

Suggested Citation

  • Steinmetz, Alexander, 2010. "Price and inventory dynamics in an oligopoly industry: A framework for commodity markets," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 82, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:82
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 1992. "On the Behaviour of Commodity Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23.
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    3. George Hall & John Rust, 2007. "The (S,s) Policy is an Optimal Trading Strategy in a Class of Commodity Price Speculation Problems," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 30(3), pages 515-538, March.
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    7. Victor Aguirregabiria, 1999. "The Dynamics of Markups and Inventories in Retailing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 275-308.
    8. Carter, Colin A & MacLaren, Donald, 1997. "Price or Quantity Competition? Oligopolistic Structures in International Commodity Markets," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 373-385, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inventory dynamics; price competition; oligopoly; (S; s) order policy; commodity markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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