Production and inventory control at the General Motors Corporation during the 1920s and 1930s
This paper analyzes dynamics of production and inventories at the General Motors Corporation during the 1920s and 1930s. The authors begin by examining anecdotal evidence on the nature of the production control system in force during that period. Motivated by that evidence, they then extend the conventional linear-quadratic model of production behavior to take account of annual shutdown. Finally, the authors apply the modified model to newly available data on monthly unit production, sales, and inventories during 1924-40. General Motors appears to have been aiming to maintain a targeted level of inventory relative to expected sales and, secondarily, to smooth production. Copyright 1993 by American Economic Association.
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