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Input and Output Inventory Dynamics

  • Yi Wen
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This paper develops an analytically tractable general equilibrium model of inventory dynamics based on a precautionary stockout-avoidance motive. The model's predictions are broadly consistent with the US business cycle and key features of inventory behavior. It is also shown that technological improvement of inventory management can increase, rather than decrease, the volatility of aggregate output. Key to this seemingly counterintuitive result is that a stockout-avoidance motive leads to a procyclical shadow value of inventories, which acts as an automatic stabilizer that discourages sales in booms and encourages demand in recessions, thereby reducing the variability of GDP. (JEL D92, E22, E23, E32, G31)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 181-212

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:181-212
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.4.181
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  1. Valerie A. Ramey & Kenneth D. West, 1997. "Inventories," NBER Working Papers 6315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • 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.
  2. Fisher, J.D.M. & Hornstein, A., 1995. "(S,s)Inventory Policies in General Equilibrium," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9514, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  3. Humphreys, Brad R. & Maccini, Louis J. & Schuh, Scott, 2001. "Input and output inventories," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 347-375, April.
  4. 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.
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  6. Andrew B. Abel, 1985. "Inventories, Stock-Outs, and Production Smoothing," NBER Working Papers 1563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
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  11. Bils, M. & Kahn, J.A., 1996. "What Inventory Behavior Tells Us About Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 428, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  12. Alan S. Blinder, 1984. "Can The Production Smoothing Model of Inventory Behavior be Saved?," NBER Working Papers 1257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
  14. Martin Feldstein & Alan Auerbach, 1976. "Inventory Behavior in Durable-Goods Manufacturing: The Target-Adjustment Model," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(2), pages 351-408.
  15. Kenneth D. West, 1985. "A Variance Bounds Test of the Linear Quardractic Inventory Model," NBER Working Papers 1581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. John Haltiwanger & Louis Maccini, 1984. "A Model of Inventory and Layoff Behavior Under Uncertainty," UCLA Economics Working Papers 321, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  18. Ramey, Valerie A, 1989. "Inventories as Factors of Production and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 338-54, June.
  19. 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.
  20. Daniele Coen-Pirani, 2004. "Markups, Aggregation, and Inventory Adjustment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1328-1353, December.
  21. Khan, Aubhik & Thomas, Julia K., 2007. "EXPLAINING INVENTORIES: A BUSINESS CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF THE STOCKOUT AVOIDANCE AND (S,s) MOTIVES," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 638-664, November.
  22. 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.
  23. Yi Wen, 2009. "Input and output inventory dynamics," Working Papers 2008-008, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  24. 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.
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  27. 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.
  28. Andreas Hornstein, 1998. "Inventory investment and the business cycle," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 49-71.
  29. Maccini, Louis J & Zabel, Edward, 1996. "Serial Correlation in Demand, Backlogging and Production Volatility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 423-52, May.
  30. Wen, Yi, 2002. "Understanding the Inventory Cycle," Working Papers 02-04, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  31. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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  33. Maccini, Louis J & Rossana, Robert J, 1984. "Joint Production, Quasi-Fixed Factors of Production, and Investement in Finished Goods Inventories," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(2), pages 218-36, May.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Pengfei Wang & Yi Wen, 2009. "Inventory accelerator in general equilibrium," Working Papers 2009-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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