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Modeling Inventories Over the Business Cycle

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  • Julia K. Thomas
  • Aubhik Khan

    ()
    (Research Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

Abstract

We search for useful models of aggregate fluctuations with inventories. We focus exclusively on dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models that endogenously give rise to inventory investment and evaluate two leading candidates: the (S,s) model and the stockout avoidance model. Each model is examined under both technology shocks and preference shocks, and its performance gauged by its ability to explain the observed magnitude of inventories in the U.S. economy, alongside other empirical regularities such as the procyclicality of inventory investment and its positive correlation with sales. We find that the (S,s) model is far more consistent with the behavior of aggregate inventories in the postwar U.S. when aggregate fluctuations arise from technology, rather than preference, shocks. The converse is true for the stockout avoidance model. Overall, while the (S,s) model performs well with respect to the inventory facts and other business cycle regularities, the stockout avoidance model does not. There, the essential motive for stocks is insufficient to generate inventory holdings near the data without destroying the model's performance along other important margins. Finally, the stockout avoidance model appears incapable of sustaining inventories alongside capital. This suggests a fundamental problem in using reduced-form inventory models with stocks rationalized by this motive.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 182.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:182

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Keywords: Inventories; Business Cycles; (S; s); Stockout-avoidance;

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  1. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
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  12. 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.).
  13. Aubhik Khan & Julie K. Thomas, 2003. "Inventories and the business cycle: an equilibrium analysis of (S,s) policies," Staff Report 329, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Daniele Coen-Pirani, 2003. "Microeconomic Inventory Behavior and Aggregate Inventory Dynamics," GSIA Working Papers 2003-E28, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  18. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
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Cited by:
  1. Bivin, David G., 2008. "Production stability in a supply-chain environment," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 265-275, July.
  2. Yi Wen, 2006. "Granger causality and equilibrium business cycle theory," Working Papers 2005-038, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Liu, Wen-Hsien & Chung, Ching-Fan & Chang, Kuang-Liang, 2013. "Inventory change, capacity utilization and the semiconductor industry cycle," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 119-127.
  4. Marcel Förster, 2013. "The Great Moderation: Inventories, Shocks or Monetary Policy?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201348, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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