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Country Size, International Trade, and Aggregate Fluctuations in Granular Economies

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  • Julian di Giovanni
  • Andrei A. Levchenko

Abstract

This paper proposes a new mechanism by which country size and international trade affect macroeconomic volatility. We study a model with heterogeneous firms that are subject to idiosyncratic firm-specific shocks, calibrated to data for the 50 largest economies in the world. When the firm size distribution follows a power law with an exponent close to minus one, idiosyncratic shocks to large firms have an impact on aggregate volatility. Smaller countries have fewer firms and, thus, higher volatility. Trade opening makes the large firms more important, thus raising macroeconomic volatility. Trade can increase aggregate volatility by 15–20 percent in some small open economies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 120 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1083 - 1132

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/669161

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kleinert, Jörn & Martin, Julien & Toubal, Farid, 2012. "The Few Leading The Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement," CEPR Discussion Papers 9129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Heterogeneous firms and trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48928, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2014. "Firms and the Economics of Skilled Immigration," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-102, Harvard Business School.
  4. Didier, Tatiana & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2013. "The financing and growth of firms in China and India : evidence from capital markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6401, The World Bank.
  5. Kazuo Nishimura & Alain Venditti & Makoto Yano, 2014. "Destabilization effect of international trade in a perfect foresight dynamic general equilibrium model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 357-392, February.
  6. del Rosal, Ignacio, 2013. "The granular hypothesis in EU country exports," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 433-436.
  7. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2010. "Firm Entry, Trade, and Welfare in Zipf's World," NBER Working Papers 16313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jinjarak, Yothin & Mutuc, Paulo Jose & Wignaraja, Ganeshan, 2014. "Does Finance Really Matter for the Participation of SMEs in International Trade? Evidence from 8,080 East Asian Firms," ADBI Working Papers 470, Asian Development Bank Institute.

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