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Why the Link Between Volatility and Growth is Both Positive and Negative

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  • Imbs, Jean

Abstract

I revisit the relationship between growth and volatility in two different disaggregated datasets. I confirm that growth and volatility are negatively related across countries, but show that the relation reverses itself across sectors. This phenomenon, sometimes called the ‘Simpson’s fallacy’, has a natural interpretation in the present context: it is the component of aggregate volatility that is common across sectors that correlates negatively with aggregate growth. Furthermore, while investment and volatility are unrelated in the aggregate, sectoral investment is shown to be more intense in volatile activities, as if the return to capital were higher there. These results call for a distinction between macroeconomic and sectoral volatilities, not unlike that between macroeconomics, where volatility often means policy-driven instability, and finance, where volatility reflects risk, and thus high returns.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3561.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3561

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Keywords: growth; sectors; volatility;

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Cited by:
  1. Ayhan Kose & Marco E. Terrones & Eswar Prasad, 2004. "How do trade and financial integration affect the relationship between growth and volatility?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  2. Emiliano Basco & Tomás Castagnino & Sebastián Katz & Sebastián Vargas (ed.), 2007. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty, Regime Change and High Volatility," BCRA Paper Series, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, number 04, June.
  3. Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann & Lorenza Martínez, 2004. "The Positive Link Between Financial Liberalization, Growth, and Crises," CESifo Working Paper Series 1164, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodriguez, Francisco & Wagner, Rodrigo, 2006. "Growth Collapses," Working Paper Series rwp06-046, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Leonidas Spiliopoulos, 2005. "What determines macroeconomic volatility? A cross-section and panel data study," Macroeconomics 0505026, EconWPA.
  6. Aaron Tornell, 2003. "Liberalization, Growth and Financial Crises (October 2003)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 276, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Emiliano Basco & Tomás Castagnino & Sebastián Katz & Sebastián Vargas, 2007. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty, Regime Change and High Volatility," BCRA Working Paper Series 200725, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
  8. Karl Aiginger & Martin Falk, 2005. "Explaining Differences in Economic Growth among OECD Countries," Empirica, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 19-43, 03.
  9. Hnatkovska, Viktoria & Loayza, Norman, 2004. "Volatility and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3184, The World Bank.
  10. Pamela Góngora Salazar, 2010. "Determinantes de la volatilidad en el producto: evidencia empírica," VNIVERSITAS ECONÓMICA 008297, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
  11. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller, 2014. "Growth Policies and Macroeconomic Stability," OECD Economic Policy Papers 8, OECD Publishing.
  12. K Blackburn & D Varvarigos, 2006. "Human Capital Accumulation in a Stochastic Environment: Some New Results on the Relationship Between Growth and Volatility," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 74, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  13. E Andreou & A Pelloni & M Sensier, 2003. "The effect of nominal shock uncertainty on output growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 40, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  14. Ramirez-Rondán Nelson, 2007. "Nonlinear Volatility Effects on Growth in Developing Economies," Working Papers 2007-016, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  15. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2006. "On stabilisation policy: Are there conflicting implications for growth and welfare?," Discussion Paper Series 2006_19, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Jul 2006.
  16. Keith Blackburn & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2008. "Human capital accumulation and output growth in a stochastic environment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 435-452, September.
  17. Michael Jetter, 2013. "Volatility and Growth: An Explanation for the Disagreement," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010944, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
  18. Jorg Dopke, 2004. "How Robust is the Empirical Link between Business-Cycle Volatility and Long-Run Growth in OECD Countries?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-23.

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