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Inventory Investment in Australia and the Global Financial Crisis

  • Gianni La Cava

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

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    A sharp decline in inventory investment was an important contributor to the economic slowdown in Australia in 2008/09. I identify the extent to which this was due to a tightening in short-term credit constraints. In an experimental design setting, I identify the causal effect of short-term credit constraints on inventory investment by exploiting variation in the debt maturity structure of Australian companies just prior to the global financial crisis. I show that the companies that were forced to refinance or repay a relatively large share of debt in 2008/09 reduced inventory investment by significantly more than companies that were due to refinance or repay their debt at some other time. A case study on the Australian motor vehicle industry supports the hypothesis that a decline in the availability of short-term credit significantly hampered corporate investment in inventories in 2008/09.

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    File URL: http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2013/pdf/rdp2013-13.pdf
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    Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2013-13.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2013-13
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    1. Tsoukalas, John D., 2006. "Financing constraints and firm inventory investment: A reexamination," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 266-271, February.
    2. PEEK Joe & M.B. TOOTELL Geoffrey & ROSENGREN Eric S., . "Identifying the Macroeconomic Effect of Loan Supply Shocks," EcoMod2003 330700118, EcoMod.
    3. Lown, Cara & Morgan, Donald P., 2006. "The Credit Cycle and the Business Cycle: New Findings Using the Loan Officer Opinion Survey," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 1575-1597, September.
    4. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1997. "Trade Credit: Theories and Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 661-91.
    5. Alessandra Guariglia, . "The Effects of Financial Constraints on Inventory Investment: Evidence from a Panel of UK Firms," Economics Discussion Papers 462, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    6. Efraim Benmelech & Eyal Dvir, 2011. "Does Short-Term Debt Increase Vulnerability to Crisis? Evidence from the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 17468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Virgiliu Midrigan & Joseph Kaboski & George Alessandria, 2010. "The Great Trade Collapse of 2008-09: An Inventory Adjustment?," 2010 Meeting Papers 107, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 1998. "The economics of small business finance: the roles of private equity and debt markets in the financial growth cycle," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Simona Mateut & Alessandra Guariglia, . "Credit channel, trade credit channel, and inventory investment: evidence from a panel of UK firms," Discussion Papers 05/02, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    10. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Bruno Laranjeira & Scott Weisbenner, 2009. "Corporate Debt Maturity and the Real Effects of the 2007 Credit Crisis," NBER Working Papers 14990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Abadie, Alberto & Imbens, Guido W., 2011. "Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 1-11.
    12. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    13. David Jacobs & Vanessa Rayner, 2012. "The Role of Credit Supply in the Australian Economy," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2012-02, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    14. Jones, Christopher S. & Tuzel, Selale, 2013. "Inventory investment and the cost of capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 557-579.
    15. 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.
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