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The Sources of Fluctuations in Aggregate Inventories and GNP

  • Kenneth D. West

A simple real linear-quadratic inventory model is used to determine how cost and demand shocks interacted to cause fluctuations in aggregate GNP and inventories in the U.S., 1947-1986. Cost shocks appear to be the predominant source of fluctuations in inventories, and are largely responsible for the well known fact that GNP is more variable than final sales. Cost and demand shocks are of roughly equal importance for GNP. These estimates are, however, imprecise. With a different, but plausible, value for a certain target inventory-sales ratio, cost shocks are less important than demand shocks for GNP fluctuations.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2992.

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Date of creation: Jun 1989
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Publication status: published as The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. CV, No. 423, pp. 939-971, (November 1990).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2992
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  1. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," NBER Working Papers 2737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Maccini, Louis J & Rossana, Robert J, 1981. "Investment in Finished Goods Inventories: An Analysis of Adjustment Speeds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 17-22, May.
  4. Jeffrey A. Miron & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Seasonality, Cost Shocks and the Production Smoothing Model of Inventories," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 01-87, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  5. 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.
  6. Robert G. King & Charles I. Plosser & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1991. "Stochastic trends and economic fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Alan S. Blinder & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1984. "Inventory Fluctuations in the United States Since 1929," NBER Working Papers 1371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Eichenbaum, Martin S., 1984. "Rational expectations and the smoothing properties of inventories of finished goods," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-96, July.
  9. Ray C. Fair, 1988. "Sources of Economic Fluctuations in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 313-332.
  10. Kenneth D. West, 1986. "Dividend Innovations and Stock Price Volatility," NBER Working Papers 1833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Blanchard, Olivier J. & Melino, Angelo, 1986. "The cyclical behavior of prices and quantities: The case of the automobile market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 379-407, May.
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