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Inventory investment and output volatility

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  • Irvine, F. Owen
  • Schuh, Scott

Abstract

This paper reports the results of a detailed examination of the hypothesis that improved inventory management and production techniques are responsible for the decline in the volatility of U.S. GDP growth. Our innovations are to look at the data at a finer level of disaggregation than previous studies, to exploit cross-sectional heterogeneity to obtain clearer identification of this hypothesis, and to provide a complete accounting of the change in GDP volatility. Changes in inventory behavior can account directly for only up to half of the total reduction in GDP volatility. Cross-section evidence from the manufacturing and trade sector indicates that change in the covariance structure among industries accounts for most of the remaining portion of the reduction in GDP volatility. Sales have become less correlated among industries and inventory investment has become more correlated. These distinctive changes in co-movement of industries suggest that development and management of supply chains may be an indirect channel through which changes in inventory management and production techniques have influenced GDP volatility.
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Suggested Citation

  • Irvine, F. Owen & Schuh, Scott, 2005. "Inventory investment and output volatility," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 75-86, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:93-94:y:2005:i:1:p:75-86
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    7. JONATHAN McCARTHY & EGON ZAKRAJSEK, 2007. "Inventory Dynamics and Business Cycles: What Has Changed?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 591-613, March.
    8. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
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    Cited by:

    1. JONATHAN McCARTHY & EGON ZAKRAJSEK, 2007. "Inventory Dynamics and Business Cycles: What Has Changed?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 591-613, March.
    2. Chikán, Attila & Kovács, Erzsébet & Matyusz, Zsolt, 2011. "Inventory investment and sectoral characteristics in some OECD countries," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 2-11, September.
    3. Irvine, F. Owen, 2007. "Sales persistence and the reduction in GDP volatility," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1-2), pages 22-30, July.
    4. Valerie A. Ramey & Daniel J. Vine, 2004. "Tracking the Source of the Decline in GDP Volatility: An Analysis of the Automobile Industry," NBER Working Papers 10384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Loris Rubini, 2013. "Growth, Structural Transformation, and Volatility," Documentos de Trabajo 444, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    6. Matteo Iacoviello & Fabio Schiantarelli & Scott Schuh, 2011. "Input And Output Inventories In General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1179-1213, November.
    7. F. Owen Irvine, 2004. "Sales persistence and the reductions in GDP volatility," Working Papers 05-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    8. Bivin, David G., 2006. "Industry evidence of enhanced production stability since 1984," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 438-448, September.
    9. Irvine, F. Owen & Schuh, Scott, 2007. "Interest sensitivity and volatility reductions: Cross-section evidence," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1-2), pages 31-42, July.
    10. Bivin, David G., 2008. "Production stability in a supply-chain environment," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 265-275, July.
    11. Sandra Bilek-Steindl, 2012. "On the Change in the Austrian Business Cycle," OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2012(1), pages 1-18.
    12. Ewing, Bradley T. & Thompson, Mark A., 2008. "Industrial production, volatility, and the supply chain," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 553-558, October.
    13. Herrera, Ana Mari­a & Murtazashvili, Irina & Pesavento, Elena, 2008. "The comovement in inventories and in sales: Higher and higher," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 155-158, April.
    14. Owen Irvine & Scott Schuh, 2007. "The roles of comovement and inventory investment in the reduction of output volatility," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    15. Selgin, George & Lastrapes, William D. & White, Lawrence H., 2012. "Has the Fed been a failure?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 569-596.
    16. Sarte, Pierre-Daniel & Schwartzman, Felipe & Lubik, Thomas A., 2015. "What inventory behavior tells us about how business cycles have changed," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 264-283.
    17. Adam Elbourne & Debby Lanser & Bert Smid & Martin Vromans, 2008. "Macroeconomic resilience in a DSGE model," CPB Discussion Paper 96, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    18. Hill, Alex & Doran, Des & Stratton, Roy, 2012. "How should you stabilise your supply chains?," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(2), pages 870-881.
    19. Klomp, Jeroen & de Haan, Jakob, 2009. "Political institutions and economic volatility," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 311-326, September.

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