Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Macroeconomic Implications of Production Bunching

Contents:

Author Info

  • Russell Cooper
  • John C. Haltiwanger

Abstract

The literature on inventory holdings stresses their role in smoothing production when costs are convex. Existing empirical evidence suggests that output is more variable than consumption so that production smoothing is not apparently present. One way of explaining this finding is to allow for nonconvex technologies. In this paper, we investigate some macroeconomic implications of the proposition that at least some firms in the economy produce with non-convex technologies. We begin our analysis by studying a simple Robinson Crusoe economy with a single, storable good which is produced from a non-convex technology. The single agent can produce a finite amount of output simply by incurring a fixed production cost. We demonstrate that the efficient solution to this problem will entail periods of production followed by periods of inactivity: i.e. production will be bunched rather than smoothed. More importantly, inventories will be used to smooth consumption relative to this production path. Still, as long as the agent discounts the future or inventories depreciate over time, consumption will not be totally smooth. Instead, consumption will be highest in periods of production. Thus the non-convex technology will induce fluctuations in both production and consumption. Using this analysis as a starting point, we then consider the implications of a non -convex technology in one sector of the economy for the behavior of other sectors through intersectoral technological linkages for both centralized and decentralized economies. For the centralized setting, the extent to which non- convexities spillover to other sectors depends on the degree to which intermediate and final goods can be inventoried and the nature of the technological interaction between factors. For the decentralized economy, the production of inputs which are strategic complements (substitutes) will be synchronized (staggered). Thus the presence of strategic complementarities (as in imperfectly competitive markets) will imply that non-convexities will have aggregate implications.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2976.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2976.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: May 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics 30, pp. 107-127 (1992).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2976

Note: EFG
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Eichenbaum, Martin, 1989. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Production Level and Production Cost Smoothing Models of Inventory Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 853-64, September.
  2. Blinder, Alan S. & Fischer, Stanley, 1981. "Inventories, rational expectations, and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 277-304.
  3. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Ravikumar, B., 1992. "A neoclassical model of seasonal fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 59-86, February.
  4. Weitzman, Martin L, 1982. "Increasing Returns and the Foundations of Unemployment Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 787-804, December.
  5. Robert E. Hall, 1989. "Temporal Agglomeration," NBER Working Papers 3143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alan S. Blinder, 1981. "Retail Inventory Behavior and Business Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(2), pages 443-520.
  7. Bryant, John, 1983. "A Simple Rational Expectations Keynes-Type Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 525-28, August.
  8. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  9. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2010. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, 1: Overview and Quantity Competition with Large Fixed Costs," Levine's Working Paper Archive 397, David K. Levine.
  10. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1989. "Increasing Returns, Durables and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 3014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hart, Oliver, 1982. "A Model of Imperfect Competition with Keynesian Features," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 109-38, February.
  12. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1987. "Why Does Money Affect Output? A Survey," NBER Working Papers 2285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. P. Diamond, 1980. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Working papers 268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. West, Kenneth D, 1986. "A Variance Bounds Test of the Linear Quadratic Inventory Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 374-401, April.
  15. Caplin, Andrew S, 1985. "The Variability of Aggregate Demand with (S, s) Inventory Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1395-1409, November.
  16. Kahn, James A, 1987. "Inventories and the Volatility of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 667-79, September.
  17. Barsky, Robert B & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1989. "The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 503-34, June.
  18. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  19. Ramey, Valerie A. & West, Kenneth D., 1999. "Inventories," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 863-923 Elsevier.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. R. Anton Braun & Charles L. Evans, 1996. "Seasonal Solow residuals and Christmas: a case for labor hoarding and increasing returns," Working Papers 575, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. James A. Kahn & Mark Bils, 2000. "What Inventory Behavior Tells Us about Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 458-481, June.
  3. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1989. "Increasing Returns, Durables and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 3014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Roman Sustek, 2005. "Plant-Level Nonconvexities and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Working Papers 2005/09, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  5. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1989. "Building Blocks of Market Clearing Business Cycle Models," NBER Working Papers 3004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2976. See general 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 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.