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.
What determines long-run growth?
Changes in inventory management and the business cycle
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 ...
Improving production management
Income inequality and minimum consumption: implications for growth
We propose a model that recognizes hierarchical goods and income inequality among households. The model demonstrates that growth is impacted not by inequality per se, but "absolute" income distribution or the level of poverty underlying the income distribution. Specifically, when a large fraction of the population is below the threshold income necessary for subsistence, aggregate consumption is depressed. In low-income countries, high inequality of income retards consumption growth, whereas in high-income countries inequality may be neutral for growth. Cross-country regressions indicate a ...
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, ...
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 ...
Forecasting with an adaptive control algorithm
We construct a parsimonious model of the U.S. macro economy using a state space representation and recursive estimation. At the core of the estimation procedure is a prediction/correction algorithm based on a recursive least squares estimation with exponential forgetting. The algorithm is a Kalman filter-type update method which minimizes the sum of discounted squared errors. This method reduces the contribution of past errors in the estimate of the current period coefficients and thereby adapts to potential time variation of parameters. The root mean square errors of out-of-sample forecast ...
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 ...