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Sales, Inventories, and Real Interest Rates: A Century of Stylized Facts

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  • Luca Benati
  • Thomas A Lubik

Abstract

We use Bayesian time-varying parameters structural VARs with stochastic volatility to investigate changes in both the reduced-form and the structural correlations between business inventories and either sales growth or the real interest rate in the United States during both the interwar and the post-WWII periods. We identify four structural shocks by combining a single long-run restriction to identify a permanent output shock as in Blanchard and Quah (1989), with three sign restrictions to identify demand- and supply-side transitory shocks. We produce several new stylized facts which should inform the development of new models of inventories. In particular, we show that (i ) during both the interwar and the post-WWII periods, the structural correlation between inventories and the real interest rate conditional on identified interest rate shocks is systematically positive; (ii ) the reduced-form correlation between the two series is positive during the post-WWII period, but in line with the predictions of theory it is robustly negative during the interwar era; and (iii ) during the interwar era, the correlations between inventories and either of the two other series exhibits a remarkably strong co-movement with output at the business-cycle frequencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Benati & Thomas A Lubik, 2012. "Sales, Inventories, and Real Interest Rates: A Century of Stylized Facts," CAMA Working Papers 2012-19, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2012-19
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    File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2017-03/19_benati_lubik_2012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Luca Benati & Paolo Surico, 2008. "Evolving U.S. Monetary Policy and The Decline of Inflation Predictability," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 634-646, 04-05.
    2. Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2010. "Structural Vector Autoregressions: Theory of Identification and Algorithms for Inference," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 665-696.
    3. Diego Comin & Mark Gertler, 2006. "Medium-Term Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 523-551, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Duchi, Fabio & Elbourne, Adam, 2016. "Credit supply shocks in the Netherlands," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 51-71.
    2. Amir Ahmadi, Pooyan & Matthes, Christian & Wang, Mu-Chun, 2014. "Drifts, Volatilities and Impulse Responses Over the Last Century," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100562, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. repec:eee:dyncon:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:66-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Aruoba, S. Borağan & Bocola, Luigi & Schorfheide, Frank, 2017. "Assessing DSGE model nonlinearities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 34-54.
    5. 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.
    6. Meradj Mortezapouraghdam, 2016. "Three Essays on the Role of Frictions in the Economy," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/293qice3lj8, Sciences Po.
    7. Amir-Ahmadi, Pooyan & Matthes, Christian & Wang, Mu-Chun, 2017. "Measurement errors and monetary policy: Then and now," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 66-78.
    8. repec:eee:labeco:v:50:y:2018:i:c:p:156-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lubik, Thomas A. & Matthes, Christian, 2015. "Time-Varying Parameter Vector Autoregressions: Specification, Estimation, and an Application," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 323-352.
    10. Pooyan Amir‐Ahmadi & Christian Matthes & Mu‐Chun Wang, 2016. "Drifts and volatilities under measurement error: Assessing monetary policy shocks over the last century," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), pages 591-611, July.
    11. 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.
    12. Amir-Ahmadi, Pooyan & Matthes, Christian & Wang, Mu-Chun, 2016. "Choosing Prior Hyperparameters," Working Paper 16-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    13. Marcin Woźniak, 2015. "Can the Stochastic Equilibrium Job Search Models Fit Transition Economies?," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 65(4), pages 567-591, December.

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