Declining Volatility in the U.S. Automobile Industry
AbstractThis paper documents the dramatic changes in volatility that occurred in the U.S. auto industry in the early 1980s. Namely, output volatility declined significantly, the covariance of inventory investment and sales became much more negative, and adjustments to output, which in earlier decades stemmed primarily from plants hiring and laying off workers, were more often accomplished with changes in average hours per worker after the mid 1980s. Building on the work of Blanchard (1983), we show how all of these changes could have stemmed from one underlying factor%u2014a decline in the persistence of motor vehicle sales. We use both industry-level data as well as micro data on production schedules from 103 assembly plants in the United States and Canada to document the developments in the early 1980s. We then use the original Holt, Modigliani, Muth and Simon (1960) linear quadratic inventory model to show how a decline in the persistence of sales leads to all of the changes noted above, including the propensity to use intensive margins of adjustment over extensive labor margins, even in the absence of technological change.
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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11596.
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Daniel J. Vine & Valerie A. Ramey, 2006. "Declining Volatility in the U.S. Automobile Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1876-1889, December.
- E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-09-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2005-09-17 (Business Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2005-09-17 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-MAC-2005-09-17 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-TID-2005-09-17 (Technology & Industrial Dynamics)
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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.).
- Ramey, Valerie A. & West, Kenneth D., 1999.
Handbook of Macroeconomics,
in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 863-923
- Olivier J. Blanchard, 1983.
"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.
- Bresnahan, Timothy F & Ramey, Valerie A, 1994.
"Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 593-624, August.
- 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.
- Aizcorbe, Ana M, 1992. "Procyclical Labour Productivity, Increasing Returns to Labour and Labour Hoarding in Car Assembly Plant Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 860-73, July.
- 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.
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: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.