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Can news shocks account for the business-cycle dynamics of inventories?

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  • Hyunseung Oh

    (Columbia University)

  • Nicolas Crouzet

    (Columbia University)

Abstract

The procyclicality of inventory investment is a central feature of US business cycles. As such, it provides a test for the recent literature on news shocks, which argues that anticipated changes in fundamentals are important sources of aggregate fluctuations. We show that, in a range of inventory models, anticipated shocks to fundamentals generate booms of a peculiar kind: consumption and investment increase, but inventories fall persistently. During these booms, production and inventory investment are dominated by intertemporal substitution, as firms satisfy sales out of inventory stock and delay production until the realization of the anticipated shock. This mechanism is surprisingly difficult to overturn. We derive analytical parameter restrictions which guarantee procyclical inventory dynamics in response to news shocks, and show that standard calibrations considered in the literature do not come close to satisfying the restrictions. Furthermore, the introduction of the frictions studied by the news literature, such as variable capacity utilization and adjustment costs, is not sufficient to restore the procyclicality of inventories. We use the models' restrictions on the comovement of sales and inventories to identify news shocks in postwar US data. We find that the identified shock leads to a diffusion in TFP, but has a short implementation lag and accounts for a small fraction of long-run movements in TFP, inventories and sales.

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  • Hyunseung Oh & Nicolas Crouzet, 2013. "Can news shocks account for the business-cycle dynamics of inventories?," 2013 Meeting Papers 504, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:504
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    2. Görtz, Christoph & Gunn, Christopher & Lubik, Thomas A., 2022. "Is there news in inventories?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 87-104.
    3. Christoph Görtz & Christopher Gunn & Thomas Lubik, 2018. "Taking Stock of TFP News Shocks: The Inventory Comovement Puzzle," Carleton Economic Papers 18-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 14 Jul 2018.
    4. Danilo Cascaldi-Garcia, 2022. "Forecast Revisions as Instruments for News Shocks," International Finance Discussion Papers 1341, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Marcel Förster, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Business Cycles in a New Keynesian Model with Inventories," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201413, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Stanislav Anatolyev & Sergei Seleznev & Veronika Selezneva, 2021. "How does the financial market update beliefs about the real economy? Evidence from the oil market," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(7), pages 938-961, November.
    7. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2014. "News-Driven Business Cycles: Insights and Challenges," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(4), pages 993-1074, December.
    8. Ramey, V.A., 2016. "Macroeconomic Shocks and Their Propagation," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 71-162, Elsevier.
    9. Woo, Jinhee, 2020. "Do news shocks increase capital utilization?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 128-137.
    10. Bretscher, Lorenzo & Malkhozov, Aytek & Tamoni, Andrea, 2021. "Expectations and aggregate risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 91-108.

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