Working Papers

2006-02 | August 2005

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Monetary Policy Shocks, Inventory Dynamics, and Price-setting Behavior

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In this paper, we estimate a VAR model to present an empirical finding that an unexpected rise in the federal funds rate decreases the ratio of sales to stocks available for sales, while it increases finished goods inventories. In addition, dynamic responses of these variables reach their peaks several quarters after a monetary shock. In order to understand the observed relationship between monetary policy and finished goods inventories, we allow for the accumulation of finished goods inventories in an optimizing sticky price model, where prices are set in a staggered fashion. In our model, holding finished inventories helps firms to generate more sales at given their prices. We then show that the model can generate the observed relationship between monetary shocks and finished goods inventories. Furthermore, we find that allowing for inventory holdings leads to a Phillips curve equation, which makes the inflation rate depend on the expected present-value of future marginal cost as well as the current periodicals marginal cost and the expected rate of future inflation.

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