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Production and Inventory Control at the General Motors Corporation during the 1920's and 1930's

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  • Kashyap, Anil K
  • Wilcox, David W

Abstract

This paper analyzes dynamics of production and inventories at the General Motors Corporation during the 1920s and 1930s. The authors begin by examining anecdotal evidence on the nature of the production control system in force during that period. Motivated by that evidence, they then extend the conventional linear-quadratic model of production behavior to take account of annual shutdown. Finally, the authors apply the modified model to newly available data on monthly unit production, sales, and inventories during 1924-40. General Motors appears to have been aiming to maintain a targeted level of inventory relative to expected sales and, secondarily, to smooth production. Copyright 1993 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Kashyap, Anil K & Wilcox, David W, 1993. "Production and Inventory Control at the General Motors Corporation during the 1920's and 1930's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 383-401, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:83:y:1993:i:3:p:383-401
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    1. Henry Ford, Innovation, and That "Faster Horse" Quote
      by Patrick Vlaskovits in HBR Blog Network on 2011-08-29 21:52:31

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    Cited by:

    1. Barber, Brad M. & Click, Reid W. & Darrough, Masako N., 1999. "The impact of shocks to exchange rates and oil prices on U.S. sales of American and Japanese automakers," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 57-93, January.
    2. Mollick, Andre Varella, 2004. "Production smoothing in the Japanese vehicle industry," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 63-74, September.
    3. Yang, Xiaolou, 2011. "Trade credit versus bank credit: Evidence from corporate inventory financing," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 419-434.
    4. Scott Schuh, "undated". "Evidence on the Link between Firm-Level and Aggregate Inventory Behavior," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1996-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Hamilton, James D., 2002. "On the interpretation of cointegration in the linear-quadratic inventory model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(12), pages 2037-2049, October.
    6. Hall, George & Rust, John, 2000. "An empirical model of inventory investment by durable commodity intermediaries," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 171-214, June.
    7. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C. & Moore, George R. & Schuh, Scott D., 1995. "Estimating the linear-quadratic inventory model Maximum likelihood versus generalized method of moments," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 115-157, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Kollmann, Robert, 1997. "The cyclical behavior of mark ups in U.S. manufacturing and trade: new empirical evidence based on a model of optimal storage," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 331-337, December.
    10. Maccini, Louis J. & Moore, Bartholomew & Schaller, Huntley, 2015. "Inventory behavior with permanent sales shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 290-313.
    11. Durlauf, Steven N. & Maccini, Louis J., 1995. "Measuring noise in inventory models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 65-89, August.
    12. Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John, 1993. "The Aggregate Implications of Machine Replacement: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 360-382, June.
    13. 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.
    14. Bivin David G, 2010. "Inventories and Interest Rates: A Stage of Fabrication Approach," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-32, October.
    15. Copeland, Adam & Hall, George J. & Maccini, Louis J., 2015. "Interest rates and the market for new light vehicles," Staff Reports 741, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    16. George J. Hall, 1996. "Non-convex costs and capital utilization: a study of production and inventories at automobile assembly plants," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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