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Firms, Destinations, and Aggregate Fluctuations

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  • Julian di Giovanni
  • Andrei Levchenko
  • Isabelle Mejean

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 decomposition of 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 directly contribute to aggregate fluctuations; and (ii) aggregate fluctuations can arise from idiosyncratic shocks due to input-output linkages across the economy. Firm linkages are approximately three times as important as the direct effect of firm shocks in driving aggregate fluctuations.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20061.

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Date of creation: Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20061

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Jörn Kleinert & Julien Martin & Farid Toubal, 2012. "The Few Leading the Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement," Working Papers 2012-18, CEPII research center.
  3. Vasco Carvalho & Nico Voigtländer, 2014. "Input Diffusion and the Evolution of Production Networks," Working Papers 759, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Vasco M. Carvalho & Nico Voigtländer, 2014. "Input Diffusion and the Evolution of Production Networks," NBER Working Papers 20025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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