Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much during contractions?
Inventory investment appears to have a significant impact on the movement of aggregate output during business cycle contractions. Recent empirical evidence has raised doubts about the often used assumption of a buffer-stock/production-smoothing motivation for inventory. Work by Blinder and Maccini suggests that the use of an (S,s), or intermittent adjustment decision rule, better explains the stylized facts of the dynamics of inventory investment. This has led to the focus on the (S,s) as an alternative to production-smoothing. I assume that some agents use the (S,s) adjustment rule while others attempt to smooth production in the face of convex costs and uncertain demand. I simulate the interaction of heterogeneous agents (representing manufacturing, wholesale and retail agents) with different inventory decision rules to demonstrate that the stylized facts can be explained by a disaggregated model with vertical coupling between agents. The simulations find opposite aggregation bias effects for (S,s) agents than for production smoothing agents. In particular, aggregation horizontally across agents and/or temporally decreased the relative variability of production/ordering to sales for (S,s) agents while it increased the relative variability for production smoothing agents. The simulations also revealed synchronization by (S,s) agents when subjected to aggregate shocks. This may explain in some of the asymmetrical characteristics of the business cycle.
|Date of creation:||1994|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, January 1997|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.stlouisfed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nakamura, Masao & Nakamura, Alice, 1989. "Inventory management behavior of American and Japanese firms," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 270-291, September.
- Mosser, Patricia C, 1991. "Trade Inventories and (S, s)," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1267-86, November.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin S. Eichenbaum, 1986.
"Temporal Aggregation and Structural Inference in Macroeconomics,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1987. "Temporal aggregation and structural inference in macroeconomics," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 63-130, January.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1987. "Temporal aggregation and structural inference in macroeconomics," Working Papers 306, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Robert E. Carpenter & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 1994. "Inventory (Dis)Investment, Internal Finance Fluctuations, and the Business Cycle," Macroeconomics 9401001, EconWPA.
- Caplin, Andrew S, 1985. "The Variability of Aggregate Demand with (S, s) Inventory Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1395-1409, November.
- Kahn, James A, 1987. "Inventories and the Volatility of Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 667-79, September.
- Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John, 1990.
"Inventories and the Propagation of Sectoral Shocks,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 170-90, March.
- Russell Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 1987. "Inventories and the Propagation of Sectoral Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Ramey, Valerie A. & West, Kenneth D., 1999.
Handbook of Macroeconomics,
in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 863-923
- Lai, Kon S, 1991. "Aggregation and Testing of the Production Smoothing Hypothesis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(2), pages 391-403, May.
- Lovell, Michael C., 1993. "Simulating the inventory cycle," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 147-179, June.
- Donald P. Morgan, 1991. "Will just-in-time inventory techniques dampen recessions?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Mar, pages 21-33.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1994-029. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anna Xiao)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.