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Durable Goods Production and Inventory Dynamics: An Application to the Automobile Industry

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  • James Kahn

    (Yeshiva University)

  • Adam Copeland

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

Abstract

This paper develops a model of the joint determination of production, inventories and pricing of a monopolistically competitive durable good.producer. The model gives rise to time-varying markups that interact with the inventory-sales ratio, even with flexible prices. Maximum likelihood estimation with automobile industry data yields plausible parameter estimates and impulse responses. We then apply the model to analyze the impact of the "Cash-for-Clunkers" program, and ÃÂfind that the model predicts a negligible production response; essentially all the action is inventories. This leads us to consider evidence of threshold effects that imply a stronger response very far from the steady state. This results in a modest but more plausible production response to the policy--still modest in comparison to the sales impact, but now at least measurable. Even with some production response, the results still provide a cautionary tale for countercyclical policies that rely on stimulating consumer spending. Even an impact on spending need not translate into a comparable impact on employment and output.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 270.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:270

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  1. Adam Copeland & George Hall, 2005. "The Response of Prices, Sales, and Output to Temporary Changes in Demand," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1543, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Dennis W. Carlton, 1983. "Equilibrium Fluctuations When Price and Delivery Lag Clear the Market," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 562-572, Autumn.
  3. 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.
  4. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2012. "The Effects of Fiscal Stimulus: Evidence from the 2009 Cash for Clunkers Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1107-1142.
  5. Adam Copeland & James Kahn, 2013. "The Production Impact Of “Cash-For-Clunkers”: Implications For Stabilization Policy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 288-303, 01.
  6. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
  7. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
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