NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Inventories, Rational Expectations, and the Business Cycle

Alan S. Blinder, Stanley Fischer

NBER Working Paper No. 381 (Also Reprint No. r0254)
Issued in March 1982
NBER Program(s):   EFG

The simplest macroeconomic models in which markets clear instantaneously, and expectations are rational preclude the existence of "business cycles," that is, of serially correlated deviations of output from trend. This paper studies one of several mechanisms that can be used to make these so-called "new-classical" models produce business cycles; the mechanism is the gradual adjustment of inventory stocks. Two microeconomic models of inventory holdings are formulated. Both imply, first, that current output should be a decreasing function of the stock of inventories and, second, that inventories, once perturbed from equilibrium levels, should adjust only gradually. These two features are then embedded into an otherwise standard macroeconomic model in which markets clear instantaneously and expectations are rational. Two principal conclusions are reached. First, disturbances such as unanticipated changes in money will set in motion serially correlated deviations of output from trend. Second, if desired inventories are sensitive to the real interest rate, then even fully anticipated changes in money can affect real variables.

download in pdf format
   (336 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (336 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Published: Blinder, Alan S. and Fischer, Stanley. "Inventories, Rational Expectations,and the Business Cycle." Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 8, No. 3, (November 1981), pp. 277-304.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Blanchard w2285 Why Does Money Affect Output? A Survey
Moore Introductory pages to "Business Cycle Indicators, Volume 2, Basic Data on Cyclical Indicators"
Barro w0490 Intertemporal Substitution and the Business Cycle
Beaudry and Portier w10776 When Can Changes in Expectations Cause Business Cycle Fluctuations in Neo-Classical Settings?
Blinder w0460 Inventories in the Keynesian Macro Model
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us