NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Credit Conditions and the Cyclical Behavior of Inventories: A Case Studyof the 1981-82 Recession

Anil K Kashyap, Owen A. Lamont, Jeremy C. Stein

NBER Working Paper No. 4211
Issued in November 1992
NBER Program(s):   ME   CF

This paper examines micro data on U.S. firms' inventories during different macroeconomic episodes. Much of the analysis focuses on the 1981-82 recession, a recession that was apparently precipitated by tight monetary policy. We find important cross-sectional effects in this period: firms that were "bank-dependent" were much more prone to shed inventories than their non-bank-dependent counterparts. In contrast, such cross-sectional differences are largely absent during a period of "loose" monetary policy later in the 1980s. Our findings are consistent with the view that 1) there is a bank lending channel of monetary policy transmission; 2) the lending channel is likely to be particularly important in explaining inventory fluctuations during downturns.

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Published: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1994, vol CIX, no 3, pp 566-592

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