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Aggregate shocks or aggregate information? Costly information and business cycle comovement

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  • Veldkamp, Laura
  • Wolfers, Justin

Abstract

When similar patterns of expansion and contraction are observed across sectors, we call this a business cycle. Yet explaining the similarity and synchronization of these cycles across industries remains a puzzle. Whereas output growth across industries is highly correlated, identifiable shocks, like shocks to productivity, are far less correlated. While previous work has examined complementarities in production, we propose that sectors make similar input decisions because of complementarities in information acquisition. Because information about driving forces has a high fixed cost of production and a low marginal cost of replication, it can be more efficient for firms to share the cost of discovering common shocks than to invest in uncovering detailed sectoral information. Firms basing their decisions on this common information make highly correlated production choices. This mechanism amplifies the effects of common shocks, relative to sectoral shocks.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 54 (2007)
Issue (Month): Supplement 1 (September)
Pages: 37-55

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:54:y:2007:i:sup1:p:37-55

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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Cited by:
  1. Lynch, Andrew & Nikolic, Biljana & Yan, Xuemin (Sterling) & Yu, Han, 2014. "Aggregate short selling, commonality, and stock market returns," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 199-229.
  2. Chun, Hyunbae & Kim, Jung-Wook & Morck, Randall & Yeung, Bernard, 2008. "Creative destruction and firm-specific performance heterogeneity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 109-135, July.
  3. Chollete, Loran & Ning, Cathy, 2012. "Asymmetric Dependence in the US Economy: Application to Money and the Phillips Curve," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2012/1, University of Stavanger.
  4. Michael J. Lamla & Sarah M. Lein & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2007. "News and Sectoral Comovement," KOF Working papers 07-183, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  5. Saldías, Martín, 2013. "A market-based approach to sector risk determinants and transmission in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1574, European Central Bank.
  6. Yongsung Chang & Sunoong Hwang, 2011. "Asymmetric Phase Shifts in the U.S. Industrial Production Cycles," RCER Working Papers 564, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Chollete, Loran & Jaffee, Dwight, 2009. "Economic Implications of Extreme and Rare Events," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2009/32, University of Stavanger.
  8. Cathy Q. Ning & Loran Chollete, 2009. "The Dependence Structure of Macroeconomic Variables in the US," Working Papers 005, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.

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