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 ...
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.
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 ...
Changes in inventory management and the business cycle
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.
How closely do banks manage vault cash?
This article examines daily vault cash balances in the Eighth Federal Reserve District to see if banks have been optimizing their vault cash levels. Recent reductions in reserve requirements have not been accompanied by significant reductions in vault cash. This situation suggests that banks may be managing vault cash reserves primarily as precautionary balances to satisfy daily fluctuations in deposits and withdrawals, rather then part of total reserve management. In 1997, some larger banks instituted formal management of vault currency. If this practice spreads, it will have implications ...
Saving up: gross and personal
The efficiency of residential mortgage guarantee insurance markets
Mortgage Guarantee Insurance (MGI) provides protection to lenders against default by borrowers who have less than 20 percent equity interest in the mortgaged property. The existence of this form of insurance helps to stimulate home ownership by allowing consumers with less than twenty percent down payment access to credit markets. Initially an invention of lenders, MGI became dominated by government agencies after the Great Depression but recently private insurers have increased their market share to more than 75 percent. The domination of the industry by the private sector appears not to ...
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, ...
Another soft inventory landing?