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Firms, Destinations, and Aggregate Fluctuations

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  • Julian di Giovanni

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Andrei A. Levchenko

    (University of Michigan and NBER)

  • Isabelle M�jean

    (Ecole Polytechnique and CEPR)

Abstract

This paper uses a database covering the universe of French firms for the period 1990-2007 to provide a forensic account of the role of individual firms in generating aggregate fluctuations. We set up a simple multi-sector model of heterogeneous firms selling to multiple markets to motivate a theoretically-founded set of estimating equations that decompose firms' annual sales growth rate into different components. We find that 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 highlighted in the recent literature: (i) when the firm size distribution is fat-tailed, idiosyncratic shocks to large firms contribute to aggregate fluctuations (the "granularity" hypothesis of 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 630.

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Length: 47 pages
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Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:630

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Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/
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Keywords: Aggregate Volatility; Firm-Level Shocks; Large Firms; Linkages;

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References

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  1. Stockman, Alan C., 1988. "Sectoral and national aggregate disturbances to industrial output in seven European countries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 387-409.
  2. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," Papers 0062, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  3. Xavier Gabaix & Vasco M. Carvalho, 2010. "The Great Diversification and its Undoing," 2010 Meeting Papers 880, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Francois Gourio & Anil K Kashyap, 2007. "Investment Spikes: New Facts and a General Equilibrium Exploration," NBER Working Papers 13157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Brent Neiman & John Romalis, 2011. "Trade and the Global Recession," NBER Working Papers 16666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rui Castro & Gian Luca Clementi & Yoonsoo Lee, 2008. "Cross-sectoral variation in firm-level idiosyncratic risk," Working Paper 0812, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links," NBER Working Papers 12167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Yoonsoo Lee, 2008. "Entry, Exit, and Plant-level Dynamics over the Business Cycle," 2008 Meeting Papers 454, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Diego A. Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2006. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 167-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stephen Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded Versus Privately Held Firms," Working Papers 06-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. 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.
  12. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-61, July-Aug..
  13. Xavier Gabaix, 2005. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," 2005 Meeting Papers 470, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  15. Bryan Kelly & Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2013. "Firm Volatility in Granular Networks," NBER Working Papers 19466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Andrew T. Foerster & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte & Mark W. Watson, 2011. "Sectoral versus Aggregate Shocks: A Structural Factor Analysis of Industrial Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1 - 38.
  17. Claudia Canals & Xavier Gabaix & Josep M. Vilarrubia & David Weinstein, 2007. "Trade patterns, trade balances and idiosyncratic shocks," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0721, Banco de Espa�a.
  18. 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.
  19. Shea, John S, 2002. "Complementarities and Comovements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 412-33, May.
  20. Teresa C Fort & John Haltiwanger & Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2013. "How Firms Respond to Business Cycles: The Role of Firm Age and Firm Size," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 61(3), pages 520-559, August.
  21. Blum, Bernardo S. & Claro, Sebastian & Horstmann, Ignatius J., 2013. "Occasional and perennial exporters," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 65-74.
  22. 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.
  23. David Thesmar & Mathias Thoenig, 2011. "Contrasting Trends in Firm Volatility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 143-80, October.
  24. Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2012. "How do Different Exporters React to Exchange Rate Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 437-492.
  25. Vasco Carvalho & X. Gabaix, 2010. "The Great Diversification?," Working Papers 422, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  26. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1987. "Micro Shocks and Aggregate Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 395-409, May.
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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 M. Carvalho & Nico Voigtländer, 2014. "Input Diffusion and the Evolution of Production Networks," NBER Working Papers 20025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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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