Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations

Contents:

Author Info

  • Xavier Gabaix

Abstract

This paper proposes that idiosyncratic firm-level fluctuations can explain an important part of aggregate shocks, and provide a microfoundation for aggregate productivity shocks. Existing research has focused on using aggregate shocks to explain business cycles, arguing that individual firm shocks average out in aggregate. I show that this argument breaks down if the distribution of firm sizes is fat-tailed, as documented empirically. The idiosyncratic movements of the largest 100 firms in the US appear to explain about one third of variations in output and the Solow residual. This "granular" hypothesis suggests new directions for macroeconomic research, in particular that macroeconomic questions can be clarified by looking at the behavior of large firms. This paper's ideas and analytical results may also be useful to think about the fluctuations of other economic aggregates, such as exports or the trade balance.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://econ-www.mit.edu/faculty/download_pdf.php?id=238
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found (http://econ-www.mit.edu/faculty/download_pdf.php?id=238 [301 Moved Permanently]--> http://economics.mit.edu/faculty/download_pdf.php?id=238). If this is indeed the case, please notify (Christian Zimmermann)
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 470.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:470

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Email:
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Business Cycle; Idiosyncratic shock; Aggregate shock; Aggregation; Heterogeneity; Power law; Zipf’s law;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Andrei A. Levchenko & Julian di Giovanni, 2009. "International Trade and Aggregate Fluctuations in Granular Economies," 2009 Meeting Papers 491, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Hamilton, James D., 2003. "What is an oil shock?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 363-398, April.
  3. Blank, Sven & Buch, Claudia M. & Neugebauer, Katja, 2009. "Shocks at large banks and banking sector distress: The Banking Granular Residual," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 353-373, December.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2009. "Determinants of Vertical Integration: Financial Development and Contracting Costs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1251-1290, 06.
  5. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
  6. Nirei, Makoto, 2006. "Threshold behavior and aggregate fluctuation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 309-322, March.
  7. Yoshi Fujiwara & Corrado Di Guilmi & Hideaki Aoyama & Mauro Gallegati & Wataru Souma, 2003. "Do Pareto-Zipf and Gibrat laws hold true? An analysis with European Firms," Papers cond-mat/0310061, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2003.
  8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Jaume Ventura, 1998. "Comparative Advantage and the Cross-Section of Business Cycles," Working papers 98-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Bak, Per & Chen, Kan & Scheinkman, Jose & Woodford, Michael, 1993. "Aggregate fluctuations from independent sectoral shocks: self-organized criticality in a model of production and inventory dynamics," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-30, March.
  12. Robert Lucas & Mike Golosov, 2004. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," 2004 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2006. "Establishment size dynamics in the aggregate economy," Staff Report 382, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  15. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144, 08.
  16. Stephen Hymer & Peter Pashigian, 1962. "Firm Size and Rate of Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 556.
  17. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1987. "Micro Shocks and Aggregate Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 395-409, May.
  18. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1997. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Research Paper 9735, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  19. Xavier Gabaix & Parameswaran Gopikrishnan & Vasiliki Plerou & H. Eugene Stanley, 2006. "Institutional Investors and Stock Market Volatility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 461-504, May.
  20. Youngki Lee & Luis A. N. Amaral & David Canning & Martin Meyer & H. Eugene Stanley, 1998. "Universal features in the growth dynamics of complex organizations," Papers cond-mat/9804100, arXiv.org.
  21. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538.
  22. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2000. "Why is productivity procyclical? Why do we care?," Working Paper Series WP-00-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  23. Bertrand, Marianne & Johnson, Simon & Samphantharak, Krislert & Schoar, Antoinette, 2008. "Mixing family with business: A study of Thai business groups and the families behind them," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 466-498, June.
  24. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel, 2003. "Adjustment is Much Slower than You Think," NBER Working Papers 9898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2004. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," Working Paper Series WP-04-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  26. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  27. Shea, John S, 2002. "Complementarities and Comovements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 412-33, May.
  28. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," NBER Working Papers 10344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Andrew T. Foerster & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte & Mark W. Watson, 2008. "Sectoral vs. Aggregate Shocks: A Structural Factor Analysis of Industrial Production," NBER Working Papers 14389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. 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.
  31. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 11034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, 05.
  33. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1994. "Was Prometheus unbound by chance? Risk, diversification and growth," Economics Working Papers 98, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  35. Francesco Franco & Thomas Philippon, 2007. "Firms and Aggregate Dynamics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 587-600, November.
  36. Yannick Malevergne & Pedro Santa-Clara & Didier Sornette, 2009. "Professor Zipf goes to Wall Street," NBER Working Papers 15295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Canning, D. & Amaral, L. A. N. & Lee, Y. & Meyer, M. & Stanley, H. E., 1998. "Scaling the volatility of GDP growth rates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 335-341, September.
  38. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra56-1, May.
  39. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2003. "A New Measure of Monetary Shocks: Derivation and Implications," NBER Working Papers 9866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1996. "Imperfect Competition and the Effects of Energy Price Increases on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 5634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. S. V. Buldyrev & L. A. N. Amaral & S. Havlin & H. Leschhorn & P. Maass & M. A. Salinger & H. E. Stanley & M. H. R. Stanley, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: II. Modeling of company growth," Papers cond-mat/9702085, arXiv.org.
  42. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
  43. Harberger, Arnold C, 1998. "A Vision of the Growth Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 1-32, March.
  44. Robert J. Gordon, 1981. "Postwar Macroeconomics: The Evolution of Events and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 0459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. Horvath, Michael, 2000. "Sectoral shocks and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 69-106, February.
  46. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  47. Vasco M Carvalho, 2008. "Aggregate Fluctuations and the Network Structure of Intersectoral Trade," 2008 Meeting Papers 1062, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  48. L. A. N. Amaral & S. V. Buldyrev & S. Havlin & H. Leschhorn & P. Maass & M. A. Salinger & H. E. Stanley & M. H. R. Stanley, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: I. Empirical results for company growth," Papers cond-mat/9702082, arXiv.org.
  49. 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.
  50. Timothy G. Conley & Bill Dupor, 2003. "A Spatial Analysis of Sectoral Complementarity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 311-352, April.
  51. Aart Kraay & Jaume Ventura, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and the Cross-section of Business Cycles," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1300-1333, December.
  52. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Chapters, in: Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870, pages 1-23 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  53. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed005:470. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.