Tracking the source of the decline in GDP volatility: an analysis of the automobile industry
AbstractRecent papers by Kim and Nelson (1999) and McConnell and Perez-Quiros (2000) uncover a dramatic decline in the volatility of U.S. GDP growth beginning in 1984. Determining whether the source is good luck, good policy or better inventory management has since developed into an active area of research. This paper seeks to shed light on the source of the decline in volatility by studying the behavior of the U.S. automobile industry, where the changes in volatility have mirrored those of the aggregate data. We find that changes in the relative volatility of sales and output, which have been interpreted by some as evidence of improved inventory management, could in fact be the result of changes in the process driving automobile sales. We first show that the autocorrelation of sales dropped during the 1980s, and that the behavior of interest rates may be the force behind the change in sales persistence. A simulation of the assembly plants' cost function illustrates that the persistence of sales is a key determinant of output volatility. A comparison of the ways in which assembly plants scheduled production in the 1990s relative to the 1970s supports the intuition of the simulation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2005-14.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
- E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-05-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-CMP-2005-05-23 (Computational Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2005-05-23 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998.
"Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory,"
NBER Working Papers
6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
- Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
- Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Kim, Chang-Jin & Nelson, Charles R & Piger, Jeremy, 2004.
"The Less-Volatile U.S. Economy: A Bayesian Investigation of Timing, Breadth, and Potential Explanations,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
American Statistical Association, vol. 22(1), pages 80-93, January.
- Chang-Jin Kim & Charles Nelson & Jeremy Piger, 2001. "The less volatile U.S. economy: a Bayesian investigation of timing, breadth, and potential explanations," International Finance Discussion Papers 707, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- 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.
- 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.
- Valerie A. Ramey & Kenneth D. West, 1997.
NBER Working Papers
6315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Valerie A. Ramey & Daniel J. Vine, 2004.
"Why Do Real and Nominal Inventory-Sales Ratios Have Different Trends,"
NBER Working Papers
10703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ramey, Valerie A & Vine, Daniel J, 2004. "Why Do Real and Nominal Inventory-Sales Ratios Have Different Trends?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(5), pages 959-63, October.
- Ramey, Valerie A, 1991. "Nonconvex Costs and the Behavior of Inventories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 306-34, April.
- Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John, 1993.
"The Aggregate Implications of Machine Replacement: Theory and Evidence,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 360-82, June.
- Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "The Aggregate Implications of Machine Replacement: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper, 1992. "The Aggregate Implications Of Machine Replacement: Theory And Evidence," Working Papers 92-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Jonathan McCarthy & Egon Zakrajsek, 2002.
"Inventory dynamics and business cycles: what has changed?,"
156, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- JONATHAN McCARTHY & EGON ZAKRAJSEK, 2007. "Inventory Dynamics and Business Cycles: What Has Changed?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 591-613, 03.
- Jonathan McCarthy & Egon Zakrajsek, 2003. "Inventory dynamics and business cycles: what has changed?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
- Owen Irvine & Scott Schuh, 2002. "Inventory investment and output volatility," Working Papers 02-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Olivier J. Blanchard, 1982.
"The Production and Inventory Behavior of the American Automobile Industry,"
NBER Working Papers
0891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blanchard, Olivier J, 1983. "The Production and Inventory Behavior of the American Automobile Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 365-400, June.
- Hall, George J., 2000.
"Non-convex costs and capital utilization: A study of production scheduling at automobile assembly plants,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 681-716, June.
- George J. Hall, 1997. "Non-Convex Costs and Capital Utilization: A Study of Production Scheduling at Automobile Assembly Plants," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1169, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
- Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2003.
"Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?,"
NBER Working Papers
9459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bresnahan, Timothy F & Ramey, Valerie A, 1993. "Segment Shifts and Capacity Utilization in the U.S. Automobile Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 213-18, May.
- Kahn, James A, 1992. "Why Is Production More Volatile Than Sales? Theory and Evidence on the Stockout-Avoidance Motive for Inventory-Holding," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 481-510, May.
- 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.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.