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Firms, Destinations, and Aggregate Fluctuations

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  • di Giovanni, Julian
  • Levchenko, Andrei A.
  • Mejean, Isabelle

Abstract

This paper provides a forensic account of the role of individual firms in generating aggregate fluctuations using data covering the universe of French firms for the period 1990–2007. We derive a theoretically-founded set of estimating equations that decompose firms’ annual sales growth rate into different components. The firm-specific component contributes substantially to aggregate sales volatility, mattering about as much as the components capturing shocks that are common across firms within a sector or country. We then decompose the firm-specific component to provide evidence on two mechanisms that generate aggregate fluctuations from microeconomic shocks: (i) when the firm size distribution is fat-tailed, idiosyncratic shocks to large firms contribute to aggregate fluctuations (Gabaix, 2011), and (ii) sizable aggregate volatility can arise from idiosyncratic shocks due to input-output linkages across the economy (Acemoglu et al., 2012). We find that firm linkages are approximately twice as important as granularity in driving aggregate fluctuations.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9168.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9168

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Keywords: Aggregate Volatility; Firm-Level Shocks; Large Firms; Linkages;

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References

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  1. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 3-26, Summer.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Vasco Carvalho & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2011. "The network origins of aggregate fluctuations," Economics Working Papers 1291, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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  23. Sophie Osotimehin, 2013. "Aggregate productivity and the allocation of resources over the business cycle," Virginia Economics Online Papers 404, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  24. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2008. "Putting the Parts Together: Trade, Vertical Linkages, and Business Cycle Comovement," Working Papers 580, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Franziska Bremus, 2011. "Financial Integration and Macroeconomic Stability: What Role for Large Banks?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1178, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Vasco Carvalho & Nico Voigtländer, 2014. "Input diffusion and the evolution of production networks," Economics Working Papers 1418, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Vasco M. Carvalho & Nico Voigtländer, 2014. "Input Diffusion and the Evolution of Production Networks," NBER Working Papers 20025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Vasco Carvalho & Nico Voigtländer, 2014. "Input Diffusion and the Evolution of Production Networks," Working Papers 759, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

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