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.
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 ...
Improving production management
Old wine at new prices
Another soft inventory landing?
A state space forecasting model with fiscal and monetary control
In this paper we model the U.S. economy parsimoniously in an a theoretic state space representation. We use monthly data for thirteen macroeconomic variables. We treat the federal deficit as a proxy for fiscal policy and the fed funds rate as a proxy for monetary policy and use each of them as control (exogenous) variables, and designate the rest as state variables. The output (measured) variable is the growth rate of quarterly real GDP which we interpolate to obtain a monthly equivalent. We specify a linear relation between state variables and implicitly allow for time variation of the ...
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, ...
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.