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Inventory investment and output volatility

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  • Owen Irvine
  • Scott Schuh
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    Abstract

    This paper reports the results of a detailed examination of the hypothesis that improved inventory management and production techniques are responsible for the decline in the volatility of U.S. GDP growth. Our innovations are to look at the data at a finer level of disaggregation than previous studies, to exploit cross-sectional heterogeneity to obtain clearer identification of this hypothesis, and to provide a complete accounting of the change in GDP volatility. Changes in inventory behavior can account directly for only up to half of the total reduction in GDP volatility. Cross-section evidence from the manufacturing and trade sector indicates that change in the covariance structure among industries accounts for most of the remaining portion of the reduction in GDP volatility. Sales have become less correlated among industries and inventory investment has become more correlated. These distinctive changes in co-movement of industries suggest that development and management of supply chains may be an indirect channel through which changes in inventory management and production techniques have influenced GDP volatility.

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    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2002/wp026.htm
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 02-6.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:02-6

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    Keywords: Gross domestic product;

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    References

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    1. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell, 2002. "Has inventory volatility returned? A look at the current cycle," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 8(May).
    2. Margaret M. McConnell & Patricia C. Mosser & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1999. "A decomposition of the increased stability of GDP growth," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Aug).
    3. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
    4. Valerie A. Ramey & Daniel J. Vine, 2005. "Tracking the source of the decline in GDP volatility: an analysis of the automobile industry," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles Nelson & Jeremy M. Piger, 2003. "The less volatile U.S. economy: a Bayesian investigation of timing, breadth, and potential explanations," Working Papers 2001-016, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    6. Brad R Humphreys & Louis J Maccini & Scott Schuh, 2000. "Input and Output Inventories," Economics Working Paper Archive 426, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    7. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
    8. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Karl Whelan, 2000. "A guide to the use of chain aggregated NIPA data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
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    Cited by:
    1. Adam Elbourne & Debby Lanser & Bert Smid & Martin Vromans, 2008. "Macroeconomic resilience in a DSGE model," CPB Discussion Paper 96, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Valerie A. Ramey & Daniel J. Vine, 2004. "Tracking the Source of the Decline in GDP Volatility: An Analysis of the Automobile Industry," NBER Working Papers 10384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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