Recent evidence suggests that cyclical cattle inventories are driven by exogenous shocks. This article examines a second possible contributing factor to the cattle cycle: a market timing effect that arises from individual attempts to maintain countercyclical inventories. The model uncovers an important conceptual point: to the extent that cycles are driven by exogenous shocks, a representative producer should outperform one who maintains a constant inventory; whereas, for cycles induced by market timing, a representative producer should underperform one with a constant inventory. Simulated net returns over 1974–98 reveal that a constant-inventory manager significantly outperformed the representative U.S. producer, which indicates that market timing influences the cattle cycle.



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Published by Blackwell.

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Economics Commons



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/econ_fac/17