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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Essays on macroeconomics Gao, Xiaodan


This dissertation studies two important topics in macroeconomics. The first topic is on the corporate cash hoarding. The first two chapters analyze the cash-inventory tradeoff from two different but complementary perspectives and shed light on the causes of cash hoarding. The second topic is international business cycles. A new feature of capital market is introduced into a standard international business cycle model to account for the disconnect between theory and data. The first chapter proposes an explanation for the joint dynamics of cash and inventory -- the adoption of the Just-in-Time (JIT) system. I start by demonstrating the importance of JIT in shaping corporate cash. I then develop a dynamic stochastic model to analyze the mechanisms and quantify their impacts. In the model, both cash and inventory can serve as working capital. As firms switch over from the traditional operating system (Just-in-Case, JIC) to JIT, they allocate the resources freed up from inventory to cash, in order to ensure smooth transactions with suppliers. On average, this switchover accounts for 45% and 69% of the observed cash increase and inventory decline respectively. The second chapter provides a complementary explanation for the cash-inventory joint dynamics. It models inventory as a reversible store of liquidity and studies the tradeoff between cash and inventory when a firm manages its liquidity needs. I argue that two key determinants of a firm's resource allocation decision are its market power and its exposure to risk. In the model, firms with lower market power and firms operating in riskier environments rely more heavily on cash rather than inventory. Model implications are supported by data. The third chapter studies the role of limited asset market participation (LAMP) in explaining international business cycles. We show that when LAMP is introduced into an otherwise standard model of international business cycles, the performance of the model improves significantly, especially in matching cross-country correlations. To perform formal evaluation of the models we develop a novel statistical procedure that adapts the statistical framework of Vuong (1989) to DSGE models. Using this methodology, we show that the improvements brought out by LAMP are statistically significant.

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