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Inventories, employment and hours

  • Marzio Galeotti

    (Department of Economics, University of Bergamo)

  • Louis J. Maccini

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins University)

  • Fabio Schiantarelli

    (Department of Economics, Boston College)

The purpose of this paper is to develop a model that integrates inventory and labor decisions. We extend a model of inventory behavior to include a detailed specification of the role of labor input in the production process and of the costs associated with it. In particular, we distinguish between employment, hours and effort per worker, and allow for adjustment costs associated with employment changes. We assume that the requirement function for effective hours has a general trans-logarithmic form, and derive an estimable system of Euler equations for inventories and employment with implied cross-equation restrictions. The econometric results shed light on several important topics, including the shape of the marginal cost of output and the role of labor hoarding as an explanation of procyclical productivity and the persistence of inventory stocks. Moreover, they raise questions about the adequacy of commonly used specifications such as Cobb-Douglas approximations to the production process and the definition of labor input as the product of employment and effective hours worked per worker.

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Paper provided by University of Bergamo, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers (-2012) with number 0202.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:brg:wpaper:0202
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  1. West, Kenneth D, 1986. "A Variance Bounds Test of the Linear Quadratic Inventory Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 374-401, April.
  2. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum, 1994. "Factor Hoarding and the Propagation of Business Cycles Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Durlauf, Steven N. & Maccini, Louis J., 1995. "Measuring noise in inventory models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 65-89, August.
  4. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "The Cyclical Behavior of Prices and Costs," NBER Working Papers 6909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Labor Hoarding, Inflexible Prices, and Procyclical Productivity," NBER Working Papers 2591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Brad R Humphreys & Louis J Maccini & Scott Schuh, 2000. "Input and Output Inventories," Economics Working Paper Archive 426, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Ben S. Bernanke & Martin L. Parkinson, 1990. "Procyclical Labor Productivity and Competing Theories of the Business Cycle: Some Evidence from Interwar U.S. Manufacturing Industries," NBER Working Papers 3503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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).
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  12. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1983. "The Production and Inventory Behavior of the American Automobile Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 365-400, June.
  13. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Statistical Properties of Generalized Method-of-Moments Estimators of Structural Parameters Obtained from Financial Market Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(4), pages 397-416, October.
  14. Susanto Basu, 1995. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," NBER Working Papers 5336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Mark Bils & Yongsung Chang, 1999. "Wages and the Allocation of Hours and Effort," NBER Working Papers 7309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Miron, Jeffrey A & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1988. "Seasonality, Cost Shocks, and the Production Smoothing Models of Inventories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 877-908, July.
  18. Kollintzas, Tryphon, 1995. "A generalized variance bounds test with an application to the Holt et al. inventory model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 59-89.
  19. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "Capital Utilization and Capital Accumulation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Bils, Mark & Cho, Jang-Ok, 1994. "Cyclical factor utilization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 319-354, April.
  21. Galeotti, Marzio & Guiso, Luigi & Sack, Brian & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1997. "Inventories, Production Smoothing and the Shape of the Cost Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 1697, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1984. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 735, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  23. Caballero, R.J. & Lyons, R.K., 1991. "External Effects in U.S. Procyclical Productivity," Papers 91-19, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  24. Bils, Mark, 1987. "The Cyclical Behavior of Marginal Cost and Price," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 838-55, December.
  25. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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.
  27. Haltiwanger, John C. & Maccini, Louis J., 1989. "Inventories, orders, temporary and permanent layoffs: An econometric analysis," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 301-366, January.
  28. Ray C. Fair, 1984. "Excess Labor and the Business Cycle," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 692, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  29. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  30. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1990. "On tests of representative consumer asset pricing models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 285-304, October.
  31. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1990. "The Resurgence of Inventory Research: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 3408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Sbordone, Argia M., 1996. "Cyclical productivity in a model of labor hoarding," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 331-361, October.
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  35. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Statistical Properties of Generalized Method-of-Moments Estimators of Structural Parameters Obtained from Financial Market Data: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(4), pages 423-25, October.
  36. Morrison, C. J. & Berndt, E. R., 1981. "Short-run labor productivity in a dynamic model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 339-365, August.
  37. Chirinko, Robert S., 1995. "Nonconvexities, labor hoarding, technology shocks, and procyclical productivity a structural econometric analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1-2), pages 61-98.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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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