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Inventories and output volatility

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  • Paula R. Worthington

Abstract

Analyzing disaggregate data on inventories and sales from the U.S. manufacturing and trade sector between 1960 and 1997 yields four main findings. First, I find that IS ratios are somewhat lower after 1984: 1 among durable goods manufacturers and durable goods retailers outside the motor vehicle industry. Second, I find that industries which have lowered their IS ratios tend to be those in which the variance of output relative to sale has declined. Third, by decomposing the variance of output into its components, I find that the variance of sales is less important, and the variance of inventory investment is more important, after 1984:1 than in earlier years for the overall manufacturing and trade sector. Finally, the evidence suggests that industries where IS ratios fell are those where inventory investment volatility played a smaller role in output volatility in the later period.

Suggested Citation

  • Paula R. Worthington, 1998. "Inventories and output volatility," Working Paper Series WP-98-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-98-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hirsch, Albert A., 1996. "Has inventory management in the US become more efficient and flexible? A macroeconomic perspective," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-3), pages 37-46, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Jonathan McCarthy & Egon Zakrajsek, 1998. "Microeconomic inventory adjustment and aggregate dynamics," Staff Reports 54, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    4. Melika Ben Salem & Jean-Francois Jacques, 1996. "About the stability of the inventory-sales ratio: an empirical study with US sectoral data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(7), pages 467-469.
    5. Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1997. "Inventories and the business cycle: an overview," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q III, pages 11-22.
    6. Jonathan McCarthy & Egon Zakrajsek, 1998. "Trade inventories," Staff Reports 53, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    7. Andreas Hornstein, 1998. "Inventory investment and the business cycle," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 49-71.
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    Keywords

    Inventories;

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