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Sectoral allocation, risk efficiency and the Great Moderation

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  • Manjola Tase
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    Abstract

    This paper argues that the decline in U.S. real GDP growth volatility after the mid 1980s was an outcome of more risk efficient and more diversified sectoral allocations. Using a portfolio approach, I distinguish between the two determinants of GDP growth volatility: sectoral covariances and sectoral allocations. I use the sectoral growth and covariances to compute the growth-volatility frontier of the economy. I define the efficiency of the actual sectoral allocation as the distance of the economy from the frontier, measured in the (volatility, growth) space. There are three main findings. 1) The frontier has shifted due to a lower sectoral growth rate and a higher sectoral variance. 2) The distance of the economy from the frontier has decreased. The efficiency over the period increased by 1.4 percentage points. This increase occurred along the volatility dimension and it is interpreted as the decline in the growth volatility in the economy, if there were no changes in the sectoral covariances. This efficiency improvement is comparable to the 1.5 percentage points decline in GDP growth volatility in the data after the mid 1980s. 3) The U.S. economy became more diversified across sectors after the early 1980s, shifting away from manufacturing and agriculture towards services. The increase in the share of Finance and Insurance coupled with the doubling of the growth volatility in this sector, might have contributed to the recent increase in GDP growth volatility.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2013-73.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2013-73

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    1. Jonathan McCarthy & Egon Zakrajsek, 2002. "Inventory dynamics and business cycles: what has changed?," Staff Reports 156, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
    3. Miklos Koren & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "Volatility and Development," CEP Discussion Papers dp0706, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. Jean Imbs, 2006. "Growth and Volatility," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 06-09, Swiss Finance Institute.
    5. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2004. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Efficient? A Cross Country Analysis," NBER Working Papers 10973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Xavier Gabaix & Vasco M. Carvalho, 2010. "The Great Diversification and its Undoing," 2010 Meeting Papers 880, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Luca Gambetti & Jordi Gal�, 2009. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 26-57, January.
    8. Perron, Pierre & Qu, Zhongjun, 2006. "Estimating restricted structural change models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 134(2), pages 373-399, October.
    9. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
    10. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    11. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
    12. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
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