Introduction: The Nature and Structure of the Inventory Problem

  • Attila ChikánEmail author
  • Erzsébet Kovács
  • Zsolt Matyusz
  • Magdolna Sass
  • Péter Vakhal


This part is an introduction of the concept and role of inventories in the economy. We explain why holding inventories is a necessary component of economic activity and why item-level, firm-level and national-level inventories present themselves as natural focuses of analysis. Reasons of holding inventories on these three levels are discussed. Item-level inventories are hold to meet specific demand components, firm-level inventories are subject to company management as an important contribution to smooth and cost-effective operation, while national inventories are aggregates of lower-level inventories influenced by the structure of the economy and economic policy factors. Our attention is focused in this book on national inventories, three characteristics of which can be analysed: level, change and fluctuation. We provide reasons why we find analysing long-term trends of national inventories as a useful contribution to our general knowledge of operation of the economies.


Inventory Holdings Item Inventory Levels National Innovation Macroeconomic Innovations Inventory Investment 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Attila Chikán
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erzsébet Kovács
    • 2
  • Zsolt Matyusz
    • 3
  • Magdolna Sass
    • 4
  • Péter Vakhal
    • 5
  1. 1.Corvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Corvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Corvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  4. 4.Centre for Economic and Regional StudiesHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  5. 5.Kopint-Tárki Institute for Economic Research Co.BudapestHungary

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