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Inventory investment and output volatility
This paper reports the results of a detailed examination of the hypothesis that improved inventory management and production techniques are responsible for the decline in the volatility of U.S. GDP growth. Our innovations are to look at the data at a finer level of disaggregation than previous studies, to exploit cross-sectional heterogeneity to obtain clearer identification of this hypothesis, and to provide a complete accounting of the change in GDP volatility. Changes in inventory behavior can account directly for only up to half of the total reduction in GDP volatility. Cross-section ...
The roles of comovement and inventory investment in the reduction of output volatility
More than 80 percent of the decline in the variance of aggregate output since 1984 is accounted for by a decline in the covariance (and correlation) of output among industries that hold inventories. Using a HAVAR macro model (Fratantoni and Schuh 2003) with only two sectors, manufacturing and trade, we show that this decline in comovement ? and thus much of the Great Moderation in aggregate and industry-level output ? is explained largely by changes in the structural relationships between sectors? sales and inventory investment, rather than by ?good luck.? A small part of the Moderation is ...