IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/red/issued/12-159.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Role of Inventories and Capacity Utilization as Shock Absorbers

Author

Listed:
  • Leonardo Auernheimer
  • Danilo Trupkin

    (Universidad de Montevideo)

Abstract

We examine the role of inventories and capacity utilization (of both capital and labor) for the propagation of business cycle fluctuations. We document a new set of facts regarding the U.S. cyclical regularities of inventories and capacity utilization. First, we find that capital utilization and the flows of services from both capital and labor are procyclical, and comove with the holdings of inventories. Second, we find that labor utilization is procyclical as well, but is weakly negatively correlated with inventories. We build a model that accounts for these facts, and also accounts for the stylized inventory facts, i.e., inventory holdings are procyclical, while the inventory-to-sales ratio is countercyclical. The analysis is centered on the effects of two possible shocks: preference (demand) shocks and technology shocks. Our model shows that inventories and the rate of capital utilization are mostly complements, while inventories and the rate of labor utilization are mostly substitutes. It further shows that temporary demand shocks emphasize the role of inventories as being a "shock absorber," whereas high-persistence demand shocks, as well as technology shocks of any persistence, emphasize the role of inventories as being a complement to consumption. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Auernheimer & Danilo Trupkin, 2014. "The Role of Inventories and Capacity Utilization as Shock Absorbers," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(1), pages 70-85, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:12-159
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2013.04.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2013.04.003
    Download Restriction: Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and institutional members. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/ for details.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.red.2013.04.003?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 223-250, January.
    2. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Galeotti, Marzio & Maccini, Louis J. & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2005. "Inventories, employment and hours," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 575-600, April.
    4. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Andreas Hornstein, 2000. "(S, s) Inventory Policies in General Equilibrium," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 67(1), pages 117-145.
    5. 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.
    6. Feenstra, Robert C., 1986. "Functional equivalence between liquidity costs and the utility of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 271-291, March.
    7. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2008. "The Time-Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 604-641, June.
    8. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2011. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247, April.
    9. Beatriz Rumbos & Leonardo Auernheimer, 2001. "Endogenous capital utilization in a neoclassical growth model," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(2), pages 121-134, June.
    10. Charlotta Groth & Hashmat Khan, 2010. "Investment Adjustment Costs: An Empirical Assessment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(8), pages 1469-1494, December.
    11. 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.
    12. 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(5), pages 638-664, November.
    13. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2007. "Inventories and the Business Cycle: An Equilibrium Analysis of ( S , s ) Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1165-1188, September.
    14. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    15. 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.
    16. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
    17. Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1997. "Inventories and the business cycle: an overview," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q III, pages 11-22.
    18. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
    19. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1996. "Factor-Hoarding and the Propagation of Business-Cycle Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1154-1174, December.
    20. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2011. "A Labor Supply Elasticity Accord?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 487-491, May.
    21. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-273, April.
    22. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
    23. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2011. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247, April.
    24. Wen, Yi, 2005. "Understanding the inventory cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1533-1555, November.
    25. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    26. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel, 1999. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 783-826, July.
    27. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1975. "Efficient and Optimal Utilization of Capital Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 181-186, March.
    28. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    29. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
    30. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    31. 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, vol. 8(May), pages 183-202.
    32. J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    33. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Kahn, James A, 1987. "Inventories and the Volatility of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 667-679, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. De Grauwe, Paul & Gerba, Eddie, 2018. "The role of cognitive limitations and heterogeneous expectations for aggregate production and credit cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 206-236.
    2. Paul De Grauwe & Eddie Gerba, 2015. "Stock Market Cycles and Supply Side Dynamics: Two Worlds, One Vision?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5573, CESifo.
    3. Shengyu Liu & Heng Yin, 2017. "A Structural Method to Estimate Firm-level Capacity Utilization and Application to Chinese Heavy Industries," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 18(1), pages 1-28, May.
    4. Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan & Mandelman, Federico S., 2016. "Remittances, entrepreneurship, and employment dynamics over the business cycle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 184-199.
    5. de Grauwe, Paul & Gerba, Eddie, 2015. "Stock market cycles and supply side dynamics," FinMaP-Working Papers 45, Collaborative EU Project FinMaP - Financial Distortions and Macroeconomic Performance: Expectations, Constraints and Interaction of Agents.
    6. Jiang, Mingming, 2016. "By force of demand: Explaining cyclical fluctuations of international trade and government spending," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 249-267.
    7. Arto Kovanen, 2019. "Wage Growth Puzzle and Capacity Utilization," Applied Economics and Finance, Redfame publishing, vol. 6(2), pages 15-31, March.
    8. Jin, Tao & Kwok, Simon & Zheng, Xin, 2022. "Financial wealth, investment, and confidence in a DSGE model for China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 114-134.
    9. Marcel Förster, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Business Cycles in a New Keynesian Model with Inventories," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201413, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    10. Mohieddine Rahmouni, 2021. "Determinants of capacity utilisation by firms in developing countries: evidence from Tunisia," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 13(3), pages 212-245.
    11. Marcelo E. A. Silva & Rafael Vasconcelos & Paulo Vaz, 2022. "Expectations and firm dynamics: Aggregate versus idiosyncratic shocks in emerging economies," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 42(3), pages 1370-1380.
    12. Jiang, Mingming, 2017. "On demand shocks and international business cycle puzzles," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 29-32.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Nils Gottfries & Glenn Mickelsson & Karolina Stadin, 2021. "Deep Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 8873, CESifo.
    3. Andrei Polbin & Sergey Drobyshevsky, 2014. "Developing a Dynamic Stochastic Model of General Equilibrium for the Russian Economy," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 166P, pages 156-156.
    4. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2004. "Modeling Inventories Over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 10652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2007. "Inventories and the Business Cycle: An Equilibrium Analysis of ( S , s ) Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1165-1188, September.
    6. Gottfries, Nils & Mickelsson, Glenn & Stadin, Karolina, 2018. "Deep Dynamics," Working Paper Series 2018:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    7. Zhiwei Xu & Yi Wen & pengfei Wang, 2012. "When Do Inventories Destabilize the Economy? ---A Tractable Approach to (S,s) Policies," 2012 Meeting Papers 288, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Justiniano, Alejandro & Primiceri, Giorgio E. & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2010. "Investment shocks and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 132-145, March.
    9. Yi Wen, 2011. "Input and Output Inventory Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-212, October.
    10. Yi Wen, 2008. "Inventories, liquidity, and the macroeconomy," Working Papers 2008-045, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    11. Crouzet, Nicolas & Oh, Hyunseung, 2016. "What do inventories tell us about news-driven business cycles?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 49-66.
    12. Özer Karagedikli & Troy Matheson & Christie Smith & Shaun P. Vahey, 2010. "RBCs AND DSGEs: THE COMPUTATIONAL APPROACH TO BUSINESS CYCLE THEORY AND EVIDENCE," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 113-136, February.
    13. Ascari, Guido & Phaneuf, Louis & Sims, Eric R., 2018. "On the welfare and cyclical implications of moderate trend inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 56-71.
    14. Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor & Schorfheide, Frank & Fuentes-Albero, Cristina & Kryshko, Maxym & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2012. "Methods versus substance: Measuring the effects of technology shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 826-846.
    15. Thomas A. Lubik & Wing Leong Teo, 2009. "Inventories and optimal monetary policy," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 95(Fall), pages 357-382.
    16. Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2013. "Inventories, Markups, and Real Rigidities in Menu Cost Models," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 80(1), pages 249-276.
    17. Görtz, Christoph & Gunn, Christopher & Lubik, Thomas A., 2022. "Is there news in inventories?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 87-104.
    18. Martin Boileau & Marc-Andre Letendre, 2011. "Inventories, sticky prices, and the persistence of output and inflation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(10), pages 1161-1174.
    19. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007, Elsevier.
    20. Fernández-Villaverde, J. & Rubio-Ramírez, J.F. & Schorfheide, F., 2016. "Solution and Estimation Methods for DSGE Models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 527-724, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inventories; Capital utilization; Labor intensity; Business cycle;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:issued:12-159. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.