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Cyclical changes in firm volatility

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  • Emmanuel De Veirman
  • Andrew Levin

Abstract

We estimate changes in firm-specific volatility in sales and earnings growth of US firms. We do so using an approach which better captures firm-specific volatility than commonly used dispersion measures do. Our results do not lend strong support to the common view that firm-specific volatility is counter-cyclical. The role of firmspecific volatility in explaining aggregate fluctuations is empirically very limited. This is evidence against the implication of irreversibility and financial accelerator theories that increases in firm-specific volatility cause macroeconomic downturns. Our measure also provides evidence on trends in firm volatility. Earlier findings of a trend increase in the volatility of publicly traded firms are completely overturned when we control for changes in sample composition. At the firm level, the 2007-2009 recession did not end the Great Moderation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 408.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:408

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Keywords: Firm-Level Volatility; firm-specific shocks; business cycles;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Emmanuel De Veirman & Andrew T. Levin, 2012. "When Did Firms Become More Different? Time-Varying Firm-Specific Volatility in Japan," CAMA Working Papers 2012-43, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  2. Calmès, Christian & Théoret, Raymond, 2014. "Bank systemic risk and macroeconomic shocks: Canadian and U.S. evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 388-402.
  3. Roberta Distante & Ivan Petrella & Emiliano Santoro, 2013. "Asymmetry Reversals and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 2013.54, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Lawrence Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2013. "Risk Shocks," NBER Working Papers 18682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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