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Financial intermediation and economic growth in southern Africa
The role of the financial sector in stimulating economic growth has been debated in the economic profession for decades. The prevailing view is that financial intermediaries reduce the transactions costs of channeling funds from savers to entrepreneurs by reducing information asymmetries between lenders and borrowers, there by stimulating investment and growth. Inflation, on the other hand, increases uncertainty and has a negative impact on investment and reduces growth. This paper tests these two hypotheses empirically using a pooled time series for a cross-section of countries in the ...
Another soft inventory landing?
Saving up: gross and personal
Where's the productivity growth (from the information technology revolution)?
Information technology has advanced rapidly in the last two or three decades, and an equivalent rapid gain in economy-wide productivity has been anticipated. Productivity statistics, however, do not support this expectation. Although productivity growth has risen since the slowdown witnessed in the 1970s, it can hardly be described as phenomenal. Donald S. Allen discusses some of the current explanations for this apparent disparity and suggests that, as the workforce catches up to the technology level and exploits its full potential, productivity growth will increase.
Aggregate dynamics of lumpy agents
This paper identifies the criteria for dynamic synchronization of the movement of agents who make intermittent adjustment to inventory stocks, leading to "harmonic resonance" rather than cancellation. I use a discrete Markov process model of (S,s) inventory adjustment to establish a theoretical framework for the aggregate dynamics and use simulations to demonstrate the distribution effects of a discrete model of lumpy behavior. The paper identifies circumstances that lead to increased skewness of the distribution of agents over the inventory interval. This has application in financial, ...
Trade, growth and capital: a case study of Jamaica
This is the first of two articles on the dynamics of the Jamaican economy over the last two and a half decades. It compares the overall macroeconomy of Jamaica in the areas of output, fiscal and monetary policy, capital formation and trade to that of Singapore and South Korea. The conclusion from the aggregate data is that government spending in the second half of the 1970?s and the first half of the 1980?s may have had a significant role in the inflationary episodes and reduced capital formation during this period. The second article will delve deeper into the details of the fiscal and ...
Do inventories moderate fluctuations in output?
Inventories are widely believed to serve as a buffer stock against unexpected fluctuations in demand, allowing firms to plan production more efficiently. If so, we would expect production to vary less than sales and inventory to move in the opposite direction to sales. However, research finds that production varies more than sales and that there is a positive correlation between changes in inventory and changes in sales. These findings imply that inventories are not being used to smooth production and do not serve as a buffer for uncertain demand. Donald S. Allen examines firm-level data and ...
Seasonal production smoothing
Empirical tests of the production-smoothing hypothesis have yielded mixed results. In this paper, Donald Allen looks for and finds evidence of seasonal production smoothing in 15 out of 25 manufacturing series and eight out of 10 retail series, using detrended seasonally unadjusted data. The equivalent test using seasonally adjusted data were negative for all 35 series. The results suggest that seasonally adjusted data obscure short-term production smoothing.
Seasonal production smoothing
Empirical tests of the production-smoothing hypothesis have yielded mixed results. In this paper, Donald Allen looks for, and finds evidence of, seasonal production smoothing in 15 out of 25 manufacturing series and 8 out of 10 retail series, using detrended seasonally unadjusted data. The equivalent test using seasonally adjusted data were negative for all 35 series. The results suggest that seasonally adjusted data obscure short-term production-smoothing.
Filtering permanent cycles with complex unit roots
Separating cyclical movement from trend growth at seasonal and business cycle frequencies is important to macroeconomic research. At business cycle frequencies, time trends, first differences and the more recent Hodrick-Prescott (HP) filter are used to separate trends from cycles. At seasonal frequencies, ad-hoc methods like the Census Bureau's X-11 seasonal filter are applied. This paper reviews the criteria for permanent cycles in systems characterized by difference equations and looks at the effect of filtering data which exhibit permanent cyclicality. Second order moving averages with ...